On the evening of Wednesday, December 9th, nine of the ten members of the newly established UISG Intercongregational Project for Migrants joined the Mother House community for a time of prayer in the chapel, followed by a simple supper and a chance to get to know each of the Sisters.
In addition to the three from the Society, Maria Gaczoł (POL,) Paola Paoli (ITA), and Florence de la Villéon (BFN), there were Sara (Ethiopia), Jeya and Veera (India), Lemlem and Lula (Eritrea), Vicky (Congo), and Ema (Argentina), who was unable to join us, each from a different congregation. The language of the community is English, but all will have to have some knowledge of Italian as they are to function as a bridge between the migrants and the people of Sicily.
The short prayer included a time of praying for this new project and asking a particular blessing for the members of the new community. While they are considered a single community, they will live in two different cities in Sicily, about 200 km distant the one from the other. One will be in Agrigento on the western (central) coast of the island and the other, Ramacca about 35 km. southwest of Catania.
It was a delight to meet these women who, together, will be undertaking this response of the UISG to this pressing need of ministry to both the migrants arriving daily in Europe and the Sicilian people and Christian communities who are trying to meet their basic needs and to help them learn their way in a totally new culture.
Text and photos by Margaret Phelan rscj