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Transcript of Pelosi Remarks at Community of Sant’Egidio Grant Award Presentation

Rome – Speaker Nancy Pelosi toured the Community of Sant’Egido and met with refugee families prior to presenting a new grant from the Julia Taft Refugee Fund to the Community of Sant’Egidio.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks: 
 
Speaker Pelosi.  The ‘Gospel of Matthew tour.’  I – we had the pleasure of attending Mass this morning with His Holiness and many, many, many leaders of the Church.  And [Pope] Francis’ name always reminds me of St. Francis saying: ‘We preach the Gospel; sometimes, use words.’  We also pray that — ask God in his anthem, in his song of St. Francis, to make us all instruments of God’s peace.
 
So in the spirit of St. Francis, which is the name of His Holiness and my city of San Francisco, I thank you for preaching the Gospel, sometimes using words.  You gave us the opportunity this morning – yeah, this morning –  to meet with four families to – from Afghanistan to Ukraine, and to hear them personally tell their story.  It is a miracle that Sant’Egidio is in their lives and bringing them here and making them part of the community in such a strong way.  
 
Our Ambassador is a living example of that.  He is the Ambassador, as you know, to the Holy See.  He is college – Catholic-college educated.  He and his wife represent our country admirably here.  I say that in terms of, also, their friendship with him being a Catholic.  They share their faith, they share their commitment to helping people, they share a commitment to a strong relationship in the work that they do.  And I hope that Sant’Egidio is one of those examples, brought here from the Ambassador in that regard.  
 
But it is, I said to Marco when we came in – and Marco thank you for your leadership – he must know of those kids that started a few years ago.  See, I am so honored to be here because I’d always heard about Sant’Egidio, and now I’m seeing it.  And it’s full-blown, in an operational way: meeting the needs of refugees.  
 
When we came in, we saw a painting of Sant’Egidio, and said that he was the protector of wheat.  And I mentioned to Marco that, how appropriate right now, when wheat is so in jeopardy because of the war Ukraine and the exporting with Ukraine.  The breadbasket of the world is in Ukraine.  So maybe, again, Sant’Egidio will be an inspiration for how we can solve that problem. 
 
But it’s presumptuous of me to be making this award because it is an award from the State Department.  And in some moment – are we going to do that now?  Mr. Ambassador, you are going to speak, but we’ll do the award and then close.
 
On behalf of the State Department and our Ambassador, that – we’re very proud that the Julia Taft Refugee Fund is gifting $25,000 to Sant’Egidio with the idea that that would help welcome 50 new refugees into the fold.  I call that a good start.
 
[Laughter]
 
A good start.  More to come.  But in any event, a recognition of the example that you are.  Marco, you have vision.  You all have a vision.  You have a plan to get it done.  That is an inspiration to us all.  You give us hope.  Thank you.  
 
[Applause] 
 

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