“This is not the Community of Father Benzi. This is the Community of the Lord. Its real founders are the poor, whose cry to the Lord has awaken this charism in many young people and also in many priests. I was the first to be called, but those who came after me are so much better than me! We have the guarantee that our path comes from the Lord because the Church recognised it as valid and therefore the Community cannot disappear. This will not happen as long as there is one Community member with faith.”

Father Oreste Benzi
“With this threadbare cassock”

The Community of Pope John XXIII has embraced a practical and constant commitment in the world of poverty and marginalization since 1968. It lives as “one spiritual family”, made up of people of different ages and states of life, who share their life directly with the least in society and are committed to taking on their situations. This love for the brothers and sisters in need leads to trying to remove the causes of their poverty and marginalization.

In order to reach these aims, the Community has opened worldwide over 500 homes and centres of various types to best meet the needs of the people welcomed.

The family-home is the Community’s first and innovative type of welcoming, and it started in 1973 as a result of Father Oreste’s intuition.

In them, married couples or single people become father and mother, brother and sister to children with difficulties, people with disabilities, psychological disorders or addiction problems, people who are victims of human trafficking and people who have served time in prison. Everybody feels important and useful to others and is encouraged to care about each and every one.

The choice of sharing life with them directly, all day and every day, leads to the creation of the ties that heal the very causes of marginalisation, loneliness and neglect.
In every Community home and centre there are people who choose to live in a continual and stable way with the people welcomed.

The Community’s homes and centres include families who welcome people in need, prayer homes, fraternity homes, emergency shelters for adults and children, Bethlehem huts for homeless people, fraternity homes and day-centres.

The Community’s charism has given life worldwide to about 35 juridical entities, promoted by the Community. They include: 15 social cooperatives comprised in the “Consorzio Condividere Papa Giovanni XXIII”, work centres and commercial activities such as a publishing house, hotels and ice-cream shops, and the “Condivisione fra i Popoli” NGO which runs development projects outside of Italy.

Moreover, the Community of Pope John XXIII promotes, through its members, new models of social and economic organisation in educational, professional, social and political areas, aiming at removing the causes of injustice.

The Community promotes peace through both the Italian civilian service in various countries worldwide and the “Operation Dove” peace workers, who share their life with the victims of conflict in the opposing fronts, aiming at “building bridges and soothing wounds”.

The Community works for development through sharing life with the least in society and promoting multi-sectorial projects for the self-development of poor countries.
Since 2006 the Community is in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), advocating for the poor of the world and working to remove the causes of injustices, inequality and poverty.

www.apg23.org/en/