Pope Calls on Colombian President, Predecessor to Have ‘Culture of Encounter’Previous Article
The Yes of Joseph, The Legal Father of Jesus, The Son of MaryNext Article
Breaking News

Birthday Concert for the Pope Will Raise Funds for Children’s Hospital in Bangui

Line Spacing+- AFont Size+- Print This Article
Birthday Concert for the Pope Will Raise Funds for Children’s Hospital in Bangui

On the Pope’s 80th birthday, a concert was held to collect funds for a children’s hospital in Bangui, Central African Republic.

A press conference was also held in the Vatican press office to present the charity concert “€œAvrai”€ (You will have).

The concert in Paul VI Hall  commemorated the bicentenary of the Vatican Gendarmes Corps, and featured the Italian artist Claudio Baglioni. Proceeds will also supportaid for victims of the earthquake in central Italy.

The aim of the concert, sponsored by the O”€™scia Onlus Foundation, was illustrated to the Holy Father by those who collaborated in the construction of “€œAvrai”€; they also presented the first 500,000 euros collected for the children of Bangui and for central Italy.

The event “€“ produced by the F & P Group with the support of the SIAE (Italian Society of Authors and Publishers) and the Italian Postal Service “€“ was broadcast live worldwide by Rai 1, directed by Duccio Forzano, from 8.40 p.m. It was broadcast on Catholic channels linked with the Vatican Television Centre (CTV) and by radio, again live to listeners throughout the world, by unified networks from Vatican Radio, RTF 102.5 and the Italian Radio Zeta.

The concert combined various musical genres and Christmas carols, translated and adapted in Italian. Claudio Baglioni  performed with a seventy-strong symphonic orchestra, with his group of ten musicians and vocalists, and with the “€œGiuseppe Verdi”€ Choir of Rome, consisting of more than seventy voices. He was joined by the actors Isabella Ferrari, Donatella Finocchiaro, Beppe Fiorello, Vinicio Marchioni, Laura Morante, Giorgio Pasotti, Alessandro Preziosi, Gigi Proietti and Nicoletta Romanoff, who will also gave a voice to the words with which Pope Francis invites reflection on the journey of humanity. There were testimonies from the priest Don Riccardo Agresti; the lawyer Lucia Annibali, victim of an acid attack by her ex fiance Pietro Bartolo, a doctor from Lampedusa who has treated hundreds of refugees; and the writer Erri de Luca.

The first aim of the concert, indicated by the Holy Father, is an aid programme for the hospital of Bangui “€“ the capital of the Central African Republic “€“ afflicted for years by a civil war, but calmed with Pope Francis”€™ visit in November 2015. This aid will be destined for the construction of a pavilion for paediatrics (malnutrition department), the training of medical staff, and a school of specialist training in paediatrics. All this will be implemented by the Bambino Gese Paediatric Hospital.

The second objective is the building of a structure dedicated to children from one of the areas affected by the recent earthquake in central Italy.

In addition, from 1 to 21 December, in Italy the number 45523 will be activated for those who wish to donate funds for these projects, to be added to the donations from the afternoon of 17 December. It is possible to make a donation of two euros by sending a text message using the mobile network, or five or ten euros by calling from a landline. The St. John XXIII Foundation will be responsible for collecting funds raised in this way.


Vatican Live Video Feed

Pope Francis on Twitter