On the occasion of the Jubilee of Mercy, the Daughters of Charity of the Province of Sardinia answered to the appeal Pope Francis has made to the parishes, religious communities, monasteries and shrines of all of Europe to express the concreteness of the Gospel and welcome a family of refugees. The Superioress General encouraged the provinces of Europe to take account of the appeal of Pope Francis, who is in tune with the charism of the Company. Alert and attentive to the signs of the times in order to discern and denounce the root causes of poverty, taking into account new and emerging forms of poverty, we are called to offer effective, intrepid and even risky responses that demand the boldness of charity (IAD page 15).
In front of the tragedy of the tens of thousands of refugees escaping death by war or hunger, on the path towards the hope of life, the Gospel, the Church and the Company challenge us, to be “neighbors” of the smallest and most abandoned. Our desire is to give the refugees “a concrete hope” and to witness to the people that, by helping and supporting these families they have a chance to grow up and to overcome poverty.
The journey of hope for Ahmed’s family began on the 18th of February, when, for him, for his wife Aysha and his little son Omar, the Daughters of Charity opened their door. At this moment Ahmed realized that, eventually, a new life could be possible so far away from their country. Now that there is also Khadija, just 15 days old, the smiles on the faces of mum (31 years) and dad (36) are filled with the hope of a “new” future in this country that now seems less foreign than ten months ago, when they disembarked. Although it was not “the dream of Europe” to push them to Cagliari (Sardinia).
Providence has willed that in via dei Falconi – “Mater Nostra” Provincial House of the Daughters of Charity of Sardinia – was an empty apartment where, previously, the former Archbishop Giuseppe Mani had been hosted. It’s in this apartment, where, for a few months, lives the family of Ahmed, refugees originating from Ghana who fled from Libya, aboard a raft, because of war. In Tripoli, Ahmed had a job and his family lived well, but they fled because of the fear of war! At this time we are helping Ahmed’s family to find their place and to acculturate into our society; little Omar is already attending our kindergarten. In addition, we are creating a network of friends and collaborators that would give rise to the possibility of a job for Ahmed and his wife.
This shelter project, wanted and promoted by all the local Communities of the Daughters of Charity of Sardinia, is being carried out together with Caritas for a duration of six months, renewable for another six months.
As Pope Francis says: “Charity is contagious, passionate, and involves risks”! In fact, in the meantime two other families were welcomed in two other local communities. A Nigerian family is welcomed in Quartu Sant’Elena and another Ghanaian family is welcomed in Sassari in Casa Santa Luisa.
In our Province, we are trying to live what our Inter Assembly Document suggests: to remain in Christ, to love, serve and live with those who are most poor and together to go out towards the peripheries of the world. May our passion for Christ and the poor always guide our attitudes and our choices.
The Daughters of Charity from the Province of Sardinia
Partly taken from Unione Sarda