- Prayer centered around a reading of the Bible
- Spreading the Gospel to help people who are looking for a sense to their life.
- Service to the poor, which is free and unpaid
- Commitment to ecumenism ( rooted in the Catholic Church)
- Dialogue with members of other religions and those who are not followers of Christ.
Since 1968, the community has gathered each night to pray and read from the Bible, reflecting on the Gospel, eventually spreading throughout the world with a mission of helping those in need. Their activities include setting up refuges for the old, hospices for AIDS patients, and printing a handbook titled "Where to Eat, Sleep, and Wash in Rome" as gifts to the homeless.
The charitable efforts of Sant'Egidio also led it to be a well-regarded mediator of peace negotiations. In the late 1980s, the Community came to the realization that their humanitarian efforts in war torn Mozambique, could not succeed without peace. In 1990, the Community was accepted by the ruling FRELIMO and rebel Mozambican National Resistance as a mediator, playing a key role in the Rome General Peace Accords signed in 1992. They continue peace initiatives in Algeria (notably the 1995 Sant'Egidio Platform), the Balkans, the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the belief that war is the "mother of every poverty”.
From a recent speech by founder Andrea Riccardi: "Dialogue means to patiently weave divided humankind together, it means to be capable of stringing back together the different destinies of peoples. Dialogue is like a medicine that liberates from the demons of hatred, despise and war.
"In two days’ time, our Congress will turn into a pilgrimage to the edge of the abyss, Auschwitz. There, on a day of fasting, we shall go as pilgrims. Men and women cannot have only an abstract idea of evil, division and war. It is not enough. They need to tread on a place with their feet; they need to see, to feel, to touch. It is the meaning of pilgrimage in all faiths. It is the meaning of the pilgrimage of religions to Auschwitz. There, standing on the edge of the abyss, whose bottom cannot be seen, we shall feel the need to show humanity a different way: that of a common destiny for all peoples in peace..."
Contrast this thought with the words of Dakota Scholar Wazayatawin as she shares her perspective on the difference between the historical interpretation of the concentration camp at Auschwitz and Fort Snelling (Bdote Minnesota USA).