[San Vincenzo Italia] – In a city like Milan, where everybody is always busy and seems distracted, it seems strange to us to have met a very different reality: the Shelter of the Vincentian Volunteers in Via Poma. Here, the Volunteers, with the precious collaboration of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, work behind the scenes by offering a valuable service to others. Entering in this house was a unique experience for us. We had the opportunity to see what it means to serve Jesus in our brothers and sisters who suffer. All this is possible and is achieved thanks to the joint efforts of the Vincentian Volunteers and the Daughters of Charity.
The Volunteer Group wisely led by the President Patricia Tersi, strives to facilitate some tasks. Very noticeable is the Shelter of counselling, a reference point for many people and families in need, even for them who do not belong to this house. Here are taken in account the most urgent situations, through psychological and material support.
It is certain that the words we have are never adequate when we want to speak about our meeting and our experience with the Sisters who work in this context, offering their humble, respectful, generous and joyful service 24hours a day. This service embraces the various material and spiritual areas in which they realize, bring to life, make visible credible and present the charism of their holy founders: St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac.
Since the early morning, the Sisters with the whole staff are in charge of the service to the guests. All this is enriched by smiles, encouragements, attention to each person; witness of their religious life, and joyful moments of shared life and, why not, some hugs! All this warms up the sad and worried hearts and makes you feel at home. This represents for us a significant human and spiritual growth because it offers us the opportunity to return to our faith and strengthen it. In freedom, we are able to share simple moments of prayer in the chapel.
We thank the Lord because He gave us the opportunity to arrive in this hidden place. Thanks, too to the Vincentian Volunteers for the service they offer; with grateful hearts to the Sisters for holding our hands during our stay; we feel also the need to thank the staff because, in specific tasks, by smiling and acting humbly they took care of us in the various situations we have been living. Thanks and thanks again.
“Thanks, shelter Via Poma, you taught me to accept my pain and to understand how beautiful it is to share with others our most intimate situations and to always and despite everything to appreciate life. I will always carry in my heart the Sisters, wherever I am”. (Nella)
“As a person, suffering from a bad disease, I can say I was very lucky to find a real home, and at home as we all know, a sick person heals faster. All this thanks to the Sisters, the staff and the volunteers who provided their services here. The Sisters give their lives to the sick persons who come to solve their health problems. Me particularly, I was really spoilt in everything: with the food, as I got the nausea from chemotherapy, with all the attention I received by the other side effects of the radiotherapy. Two very important aspects are moral support in difficult times, and the fact of making me think again about the religious and charitable aspect towards those most in need. Thank you wholeheartedly; I will never forget this experience”. (Orlando)
“I, who am always looking for words to express my feelings, this time I carved them in my heart because, although sometimes I didn’t want to talk, there were people who silently welcomed all my ache. Because when my heart was hurt, they were my refuge; when the tears wet my face, they were there to dry them and to comfort me. Suffering is part of life and we need to appreciate it more. Thanks to the Sisters I realized I still have to smile to life and I learned to do it together with the wonderful people who have shared with me these moments of pain. For all this, I want to thank them. Thanks only to the fact to exist”. (Cosmina – Orlando’s mom)
“It is not easy to share with the people you love the sad experience of the disease. The Sisters who work in this House helped me to do so; through their proximity made of gestures, attentions, prayer and silence, they enriched my faith, strengthened my spirit and gave me that extra impetus which is necessary to deal with this present challenge”. (Agata)