By Junno Arocho Esteves
VATICAN CITY — The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, will expand its coverage in a new monthly edition that will give a voice to the poor and the homeless, the Dicastery for Communication said.
The first copies of “L’Osservatore di Strada,” the newspaper’s “street” edition, will make its debut June 29, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul and will be distributed to pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square after Pope Francis’ Angelus address.
The publication will be available in print and online versions and will be published on the first Sunday of every month. Donations received for the newspaper “will be given entirely to needy who will be in charge of this service,” the Dicastery for Communication said June 28.
The goal of the monthly newspaper is “to give a voice to those who are usually not heard: the poor, people wounded by life, those who are cast aside and excluded,” the dicastery said in an announcement June 24.
“It is a newspaper that recognizes and gives back the right to speak to those who contemporary society treats as ‘rejects,’ highlighting the legacy of experience, knowledge and values of which they are the guardians,” the dicastery said.
Each 12-page edition will feature an editorial dedicated to a specific theme relevant to the poor and the needy, as well as an article on the theme co-authored by a guest writer and a homeless person, the dicastery said.
The first edition, for example, will feature an article written by Mimmo, a homeless man who lives in the streets of Rome, and Daniele Mencarelli, an Italian author and poet.
” ‘L’Osservatore di Strada’ will not only be a newspaper of the poor and for the poor,” the Vatican communications office said. “It is and wants to be above all a newspaper with the poor, a newspaper made together with them, giving those who have a talent for writing, drawing or simply telling a story or expressing an opinion a way to express themselves.”
The dicastery also released a preview of the edition’s first page, which featured an editorial by Piero Di Domenicoantonio, coordinator of “L’Osservatore di Strada.”
The poor and the needy “have something to say and to teach us,” he wrote.
“How many lessons of humanity, of common sense, of gratitude one can receive when the veil of suspicion is broken and we can come close and look each other in the eye,” he wrote.