Andrea Riccardi's visit in Argentina started by meeting the youngest. On Sunday 18 June, about a hundred young people who grew up in the School of Peace, met the founder of the Community in La Boca, the old port district. Here Sant'Egidio began its presence in Buenos Aires 35 years ago, and since then has been close to many generations of young people.
The next day, an assembly took place in the old Collegio del Salvador hall - where Father Jorge Bergoglio used to teach for a long time - attended by the Communities of Sant'Egidio of Argentina. The Communities were represented from the area known as the 'Urban Cone' - Lanús, Laferrere, Almafuerte, Villa Martelli, la Boca and Barracas, Los Ceibos, centres that have merged into the immense megalopolis called Gran Buenos Aires - and from Coronel Pringles, a city further south. There were many young people, who are a significant part of the Community in Buenos Aires. After a general look at the life of the Communities in the world, especially those in Ukraine who, even though the war has been going on for months, have never stopped helping the many refugees, Andrea Riccardi pointed out that peace is also being built on the outskirts of the megacity, which is marked by poverty exacerbated by the pandemic, the economic crisis, ever-increasing inflation and the problem of widespread drug use.
This difficult time,' he said, 'calls us to live fraternity even more'. Buenos Aires can become a workshop of a Community living in the megalopolis. A concept so dear to Pope Bergoglio when he says 'God lives in the city and the Church lives in the city'.
In memory of the beginning of the Community in Argentina, in 1987, in the aftermath of the World Youth Day desired by John Paul II, Andrea Riccardi donated an icon of the Holy Pope to the Community.