The Initiative

‘...I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me...’ – Matt. 25:35

Breaking Bread is a new initiative designed to bring conversations about community, entrepreneurship and refugees to your place of worship. Using stories of inspiring individuals around the world and shared meals, we gather people together with the goal of building a culture of empathy and acceptance.

This initiative features the award-winning film Soufra, which follows the inspirational story of social entrepreneur, Mariam Shaar - a generational refugee who has spent her life in the Burj El Barajneh refugee camp south of Beirut, Lebanon. The film was directed by Thomas Morgan and produced by Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon. Soufra means “table of bountiful food,” and after the screening, participants are encouraged to break bread and share a meal using the recipes featured in the SOUFRA cookbookThis is part of a new campaign to host 1,000 screenings of Soufra, around the world, by the end of 2019 - in order to build bridges and better understand the challenges, hopes and talents of migrants and refugees.

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Taking up the challenges of Laudato si’, The Laudato si’ Challenge seeks to sustainably improve the lives of 10 million people excluded from Our Common Home by 2020—anticipating the SDG2030 objective of leaving no one behind—through businesses that are: sustainable and ethical. The theme of The Laudato si’ Challenge is: “building bridges.”

Breaking Bread began with a screening of Soufra at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in December 2018 as part of a final three-day event in Vatican City and Rome to celebrate The 2018 Laudato si’ Challenge, where leaders in the public, private and faith sectors will convene to sustainably improve the lives of 10 million people forced from their homes. 



In 1917, in the middle of the First World War, Pope Benedict XV established the Institute to be a bridge between East and West. His Holiness Pope Francis issued a message about The Pontifical Oriental Institute praising its “high achievements.” 


People are called to host their own screening of Soufra. “You may not be able to make it to The Vatican, but you can host your own screening and ‘Soufra feast’ in your hometown,” says Soufra Director Thomas Morgan. “This is about the brotherhood and sisterhood of humanity coming together to break bread--and break barriers. This is about standing in solidarity for those forced from their homes.”

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