Chilean archbishop donates inheritance to help college students

Concepcion, Chile, Jul 8, 2013 / 11:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The archbishop of Concepcion, Chile, has donated a $50,000 inheritance to a Catholic university in the city to establish a food scholarship in memory of his late aunt.

“I believe that in Chile, donation is a path we must take for a more just society, in a bid for freedom for all,” Archbishop Fernando N. Chomali Garib said at the June 24 ceremony establishing the Yolanda Garib Food Scholarship at the Catholic University of the Most Holy Conception.

The inheritance received by the archbishop from his maternal aunt, Yolanda Garib, will serve as financial aid for meals for students whose parents are imprisoned or immigrants.

The rector of the university, Juan Miguel Cancino, as well as members of the Chilean Prison Guard Force, government officials, the ambassador of Palestine, and family and friends of the archbishop were present at the ceremony.

“We hope that this example of generosity is followed by many,” Cancino said of the donation.

Archbishop Chomali said that “money is to overcome poverty,” adding that “now I had the opportunity to lead by example.”

Nearly 80 percent of the university's students are from impoverished families, and the school is meant to help lift students out of poverty.

There is a “very complex” link between education and social standing in Chile, Archbishop Chomali said, and it should be overcome.

The archbishop himself comes from an immigrant family – he is part of the second generation of Palestinian immigrants to Chile.

Ahead of the ceremony, Archbishop Chomali said that “many, by virtue of their poverty and discrimination, could not study. And had they had more support, maybe they would have studied.”

“I believe we need to take care of the poorest of the poor, who today are the children of inmates who are finishing their sentences, and the children of immigrants.

“At least they know that someone wants to lend them a hand,” he reflected.

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