Ursula Kalb accepted the medal for the Community in Munich and thanked the many friends and the large network of solidarity that has grown over the years. For example, the Community has set up a further centre for its work in the Dominikuszentrum in the north of Munich, with a language school, a school of peace and support for the elderly. Many Ukrainian refugees have also been taken in there in recent months. This prestigious award is an encouragement to continue the wide range of activities in the Bavarian capital and to continue building a network of friendship.
The Catholic Council of the Munich Region awarded the Father Rupert Mayer Medal to the Community of Sant'Egidio for its commitment to the Church and the city.
The medal commemorates Father Rupert Mayer, a Jesuit who became one of the most important voices of Catholic resistance in Munich during the National Socialist era, through his sermons and pastoral care, as well as his tireless commitment to the poor and needy; he was beatified in 1987 by Pope John Paul II. The Community meets twice a month at his grave in the Bürgersaal church to pray for peace and for the sick.
Deputy mayor Verena Dietl emphasised the importance of voluntary work for people in a wealthy city like Munich, where many people are also dependent on help. She pointed out that during the pandemic, Sant'Egidio soup kitchen in Schwabing remained open, and continued to provide support for those in need.
In his laudatory speech, Dean Theil, who has welcomed the Community in his parish in Schwabing since 2011, emphasised the importance of the word friendship at all levels of Sant'Egidio's work.