Throughout these daysMadridhas become the epicentre of catholic faith. The Spanish capital city has always been a political, social, recreational and cultural reference point. Gastronomic routes, tens of cultural centres, theatres and places worth visiting are well enough known.
There is another alternative route that perhaps is not as known as the previous ones by most of the people. This alternative route goes all overMadridand its aim is the service to the poor. The Vincentian family has in the capital an important network of social and Vincentian works that shelter thousands of indigents, foreigners, refugees, children in the streets, old people…Apart from this, they also have hospitals in which the needy are sheltered.
Daughters of Charity, the Congregation of theMission, the Vincentian Marian Youth or the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul are some of the branches from the Vincentian Family that offer help and render a service during the whole year in the streets ofMadrid. For example, in the Young Centre JUMAVI San Enrique, children and young people from Estrecho neighbourhood can attend support classes in order to step up their education. In Santa Isabel Immigration Centre, Daughters of Charity receive during the weekends all those foreigners that register to get information.
On the other hand, in the Comprehensive Programme Vicente de Paúl, Daughters of Charity receive in Martínez Campos about 500 people, passers-by, immigrants, people and families with no means of support. In this dining room and day centre they can wash their clothes, have a shower, read, have a rest and, of course, have lunch. Not only does this centre deal with the daily necessities, but the Daughters of Charity have also created job vacancies and training courses that let people be educated at the same time as covering their basic requirements.
In the same way, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul is heading the Santiago Masarrnau Care and Social Integration Centre, in which it is carried out a comprehensive attention service for homeless, from whom 85% are immigrants. All those who visit the centre receive a comprehensive help and education: social attention, wardrobe and dining room services, occupational workshops and career guidance.
As expected, the Congregation of the Missioncan also be found in the Vincentian net. One of their centres is the Club de la Tercera Edad (Elderly Club) and SAC in the Milagrosa parish church. In the club, the Pauls offer rooms for meetings, education and leisure activities for the elderly. The SAC is a supermarket that offers everything needed for these people’s daily life at a very low price, since it is the parish church that is responsible for the cost.
We have only mentioned some of the projects, but there are 17 different projects created by the Vincentian Family in Madrid: San Rafael Social Centre, San Francisco de Paula Old People’s home, San Isidro Refuge, San Carlos Clinic Hospital, Marillac Association Charitable Work, San Vicente de Paúl Comprehensive Programme, Casa de Belén, Lumbre’s project, Santa Isabel Immigration Centre, Santiago Masarrnau Care and Social Integration Centre, Nuestra Señora de Montserrat Old people’s home, Nuestra Señora del Amparo Shelter, Free Legal Service from the SSVP, JUMAVI-San Enrique Young Centre, Catalina Labouré Social Centre, Elderly Club and SAC inLa Milagrosaparish church and Parish Caritas in Cristo Salvador.
Without any doubt, this is a worthy visiting alternative route. All the members of the Vincentian Family who are attending the Vincentian Young Meeting and the WYD shouldn’t miss the chance and go all over it. At the same time, they should also invite the Faith brothers to visit them too.