EUROPE/ITALY - The elder Scalabrinian nuns leave their home to refugees from Ukraine

Monday, 21 March 2022 wars   displaced persons   missionary institutes  

Piacenza (Agenzia Fides) - As soon as they saw the scenes of Ukrainians fleeing their country due to the war, the Sisters did not think twice and decided to make room to welcome refugee women with their children. They packed their suitcase and all went to another community, to the house that welcomed them when they were active. These are some of the elderly nuns of the Congregation of the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo, the Scalabrinians, who have been involved in helping migrants since their foundation. In Casaliggio, a few kilometers from Piacenza, people aged eighty and ninety, some of whom have great difficulty walking, have decided to confirm their choice, a life always at the service of migrants, even in old age, thus giving another sign of closeness and solidarity towards migrants. The first four Ukrainian refugee women and their children have arrived in recent days. They will be helped by the nuns, the diocesan Caritas and the municipal administration of Gragnano Trebbiense. "We opened the doors of our house to them, set up in a very short time thanks to the help of many volunteers. We are taking care of them - explains Sister Milva Caro, Provincial Superior of the Scalabrinian Sisters in Europe in the note sent to Fides -.
Their desire to do something for Ukrainian refugees was so great that they decided to make room for those fleeing the war".
The Casaliggio house is opposite another Scalabrinian structure (now dedicated to the novitiate), which just two years ago was left to the health workers who came to Piacenza to manage the Covid emergency. Today, while the pandemic is not yet over, Casaliggio and those who live there are listening and responding to the cries of those in need. "The war must not leave us indifferent - comments Sister Neusa de Fatima Mariano, Superior General of the Scalabrinians - I hope that this gesture is a sign of our commitment in the Church at the service of migrants and refugees, and I hope that many peace initiatives will emerge, motivating others to welcome and stand in solidarity with the most vulnerable. To welcome others is to open doors to Christ". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 21/3/2022)