Following Pope Francis’ appeal to pray for the homeless deceased, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco is supporting a local initiative that has launched a “Year for the Homeless.”
The Year for the Homeless is an initiative of the Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music and Divine Worship. Founded in 2014, the institute aims to form the Catholic imagination through beauty, and to rekindle a sense of the sacred.
The project responds to the pope’s recent call for the faithful to pray for the dying homeless, who often go unnoticed by society.
On January 20, Pope Francis asked Catholics to pray for a 46-year-old Nigerian immigrant named Edwin, who died homeless on the streets of Rome not far from St. Peter’s Square, “ignored by all, abandoned, even by us,” the pontiff said. Pope Francis said this death “gets added to those of so many other homeless people, recently deceased in Rome in the same dramatic circumstances.”
“The Pope’s timeless call for prayers for Edwin is particularly timely for us, because we have commissioned a new Requiem Mass for those who have died homeless by our composer in residence, Frank La Rocca,” said Maggie Gallagher, executive director of the Benedict XVI Institute.
Archbishop Cordileone began celebrating an annual Requiem Mass for the Homeless Faithful Departed in 2018. This year’s Mass, on November 6, 2021, will be the first with the new music from the Benedict XVI Choir, a premier choir led by the world-renowned conductor Richard Sparks.
Cordileone has thrown his full support behind Year for the Homeless project.
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