The Emmaus Inn

Publish date 28-02-2021

by Chiara Vitali

It used to be a Camorra pub, today it is an opportunity for new life for the children and young people of Herculaneum (NA). The "Locanda di Emmaus" welcomes the children of the territory, often from families of rival clans. The walls of the former pub were converted by Don Pasquale Incoronato in 2003: since that time, the Locanda offers workshops, after-school activities, pastoral programs and moments of prayer in the afternoons and evenings of the week. The goal is to give all children "the same dignity and the possibility of healthy choices", explains Don Pasquale, and "the children of ease and the children of discomfort stay together without differences". Some of the boys have their father in prison, others have lost him in the firefights between criminals: family backgrounds are often very complex. Also for this reason, the Locanda takes care of some moments of extended "family", such as lunch for all 40 children of the house, once a week: for many, a new way of being together around a table. The project "Adoption in proximity" allows children to get to know families and realities that are very different from their own: it shows a way of living life that excludes violence. At the Locanda there are also educators, psychotherapists and various collaborators: "We met many of the children on the road," they say. Others come through social services or through word of mouth among peers. Some of them, grown up, remain at the Locanda as volunteers. "We would like Herculaneum to be different," they say.

The lockdown period emptied the Locanda, but the activities did not stop: children and young people continued their after-school and pastoral programs at a distance. The Locanda has also taken steps to collect and distribute food items to fifty families nearby and in difficulty due to the Covid-19 situation.
Actions that, in presence or at a distance, continue to make a difference. Don Pasquale has an awareness: "We are credible with the facts". At the Locanda, there is no shortage of facts.

Chiara Vitali
NP December 2020

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