Octogenarian sisters and the welcome of immigrants

  • Photo by Ana Luengo Michel

We are all concerned about immigrants, at international, civil and church levels: we see this in articles, apostolic projects, various discernments….

We could never have imagined what came our way in Chamartín, where all are elderly, with limited mobility: what could we do?  Yes, we pray that the different agencies involved find and manage to do something positive and effective, and we are convinced that this prayer is a very real contribution to the efforts of so many who work with immigrants.

We were surprised when we had a visit one morning from Carmen Zerolo, who works with People Together, to ask these limited, elderly people to teach Spanish to a recently arrived African man. It is practically impossible to find work if you cannot make yourself understood….

Four of us were able to respond to this invitation/request: Maruja Parrella, Pura Vilariño, Mª Carmen Núñez-Lagos and myself, every one of us already in the decade starting with 8! Three months have passed since Gislain, from Cameroon, began to show up at 11am, with his homework done – he is a very committed student. We take turns teaching him. The four of us really love seeing how he is progressing, and occasionally when he attempts to express what he carries in his heart we can see how lonely he feels, how much he misses his family, how he suffers because he cannot see light for the future… There are some things he does not want to tak about, for example, how he reached Melilla; he just says it is difficult.

I am sharing this to ask you to pray for him. He is attending religious instruction in St. John of God and will soon be baptised. 

Rosario Méndez rscj
Chamartín Community, Madrid
***  Originally published in the website of the Province of Spain:  http://www.rscj.es