EUROPE/GREECE - The second Scalabrinian mission has started in Lesbos, to support thousands of arriving migrants

Friday, 30 July 2021 emigration   refugees   human rights   missionary institutes  

Rome (Agenzia Fides) - For the second consecutive year, the itinerant mission of the Scalabrinian Missionary Sisters has started on the island of Lesbos to help and support the thousands of refugees arriving from the Middle East and Africa who seek hope and salvation in Europe (see Fides, 29/7/2020). Also this time the initiative is possible thanks to the collaboration between the religious and the Community of Sant’Egidio, and to an agreement that is leading to the activation of a series of initiatives in Italy and in the rest of the world. The mission of Lesbos is one of these and sees the European Province of the Scalabrinian Sisters as protagonist.
"The welcoming and availability of the Community of Sant'Egidio are extraordinary signs for us and are the possibility of a more articulated action for our service and to be in communion with migrants and refugees. Thanks also to them we can set out on a journey towards others", says Sister Neusa de Fatima Mariano, Superior General of the Scalabrinians to Agenzia Fides, a Congregation that since its foundation has had the service of the migrant person at the centre of its mission.
"We are now providing assistance in this border area for the second consecutive year, where the request for help is stronger - he continues -. Throughout the summer we will be with them and we will reach out to families, mothers, fathers, the little ones". It is an initiative that the Scalabrinian Missionary Sisters have promoted with a view to an 'outgoing Church', as requested by Pope Francis.
The nine sisters will remain in Lesbos for a few months and will take turns in assisting migrants in this border area on the Greek island opposite Turkey. At the center of their attention are the camps where thousands of refugees live, in degrading conditions and who put their own lives at risk. For Sister Milva Caro, Provincial Superior of Europe, "the emergency calls again all of us to mobilize to help refugees who have never stopped crowding the routes of the Mediterranean". "It is no longer news, perhaps, but on the boats thousands of people, women, unaccompanied children, are still looking for an opening towards hope - she adds -. Missionary activity is fundamental not only to respond to basic needs but also to give comfort, essential for those who have left everything behind and often saw their loved ones fall along the way". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 30/7/2021)