Community of Sant’ Egidio condemns attacks on elderly, children

In a clear departure from the societal beliefs that elderly people practice witchcraft and therefore not deserving of love, Community of Sant’ Egidio on Christmas day joined government and other stakeholders in condemning the attacks targeted at old people and children in Malawi.

The community’s responsible person for St Francis Parish in Area 25 in Lilongwe, Edda Mtalika, said it is sad that people associate the elderly and children to witchcraft at a time they needed maximum care and support.

Mtalika was speaking during a Christmas lunch the lay movement of the Catholic Church organized for the poor and underprivileged children drawn from low income earning communities of Area 25 and Mgona.

Christmas Lunch with the poor is a tradition of the Community of Sant’Egidio since 1982, when a small group of poor people was welcomed at the banquet table in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere.

Guests to the Christmas lunch enjoying their meals–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu (1)

Mtalika said the community remains committed to supporting the elderly and underprivileged children.

She challenged professing Christians to love and show compassion for the elderly and underprivileged children beyond Christmas festivities.

“We thank our partners and donors who provide us with financial support to prepare Christmas lunches every year. We will continue doing so because we believe that it is through sharing that we can show our true love for the poor,” said Mtalika.

Over 320 children and old people partook in the Christmas lunch.

Some of the invited children to the Christmas lunch enjoying their meal–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu

“Over the years, Christmas lunch has taught us to cultivate a culture of giving unconditionally to the poor and underprivileged children because Jesus Christ lives in the poor. The will of God is that we should all proper through love and sharing irrespective of other considerations. God encourages us to share the little we have with the have-nots so that there’s no one among us that goes hungry or naked,” she said.

She said worldwide, the community prepares special meals for prisoners, underprivileged children and the elderly to bring joy to the world as per the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Nelson Kodolani, who spoke on behalf of the elderly persons, said the party was unique in that it created a platform for the elderly and children to eat and dance together.

Kodolani commended members of the Community of Sant Egidio for organising the lunch and asked other faith groups to emulate the set example.

“We never expected it. When I received an invitation, I never thought this is what these youths have prepared for us. May God reward them with abundant blessings,” he said.

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