Manila (Fides Service) - "For years we dreamed of having a community of Little Missionary Sisters of Charity in the Philippines and now the dream has come true" said Sr. Maria Ortensia Turati, Superior General of this religious community founded by Blessed Luigi Orione. With Sr. Noemi Guzzi, Sr. Maria Ortensia accompanied the first group of Orione Sisters to Manila where they will work among the poorest of the poor.
"My presence here represents the great family of Don Orione which will ideally support and encourage our missionary sisters who are here to serve the people of the Philippines"– said Sr. Maria Ortensia on arrival . "We are well aware that the area we have chosen Quezon City and in particular Payatas – Sr. Noemi Guzzi the Community bursar explained - is notorious for a large population of poor people living in and around a evil-smelling dump". "This makes the challenge all the greater for us. But as Sisters of Don Orione we are not discouraged," said Sr. Noemi. "For this initial stage we will have the support of the Sons of Divine Providence who run a small Piccolo Cottolengo at Montalban parish in Payatas as well as many social activities all over the vast dump area of Manila City. We were welcomed by the local authorities and the local Bishop and this is encouraging for the future. Our operative base will be a convent of German nuns who are leaving the area". (S.L.) (Fides Service 4/2/2004; lines 18; words 274)