Local charities buzzing about significance of pope's new name

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Local charities buzzing about significance of pope's new name

CREATED Mar 13, 2013

Reporter: Maggie Vespa

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Next to those of his actual election, some of the biggest headlines streaming from Vatican City, focus on the pope's new name.


Church officials say he chose in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi, a man known for his dedication to helping the poor.
The historic, unprecedented move has Catholic charities around the world buzzing, including many here in Tucson.
He came from money but championed those who were without.
Leaders of local catholic charities say the renewed spotlight on St. Francis of Assisi, brings about a renewed focus on the 'common good.'
"Meaning that we don't favor one part of the society over another.  Everybody has to have a place," said Italy-native Giulio Grecchi.
Grecchi heads the western region, all of ten states, for the national catholic charity, Voice of the Poor.  It's an arm of the society of St. Vincent de Paul.
He says this historic move comes at a time when many charities are recalculating how to best help those in need.
"For instance, here in the society of St. Vincent de Paul, for many years, their main focus was in assisting people in their immediate needs," he said.
Now Grecchi hopes the pope's high profile choice inspires others to work with the poor, instead of simply throwing money at a growing problem.
"Basically empower the people in poverty to really get involved and they themselves take the initiative that will allow them to improve their situation," he said.
And once that ball gets rolling, Grecchi believes it will be impossible to stop.
"We do all we can do.  Let's have the broader society do their part."
If you would like to help Voice of the Poor, you can start by visiting their website.