The Migrant Project/Sicily was born from a question asked by two women religious, JPIC coordinators in their respective communities: after the massacre of Lampedusa, what can we, Consecrated Women, do to respond to the urgent cry of the migrants?
This question found an immediate echo among the members of the Executive Committee of the UISG, who were asking themselves what sort of concrete solidarity project could be launched on the occasion of the celebration of the Jubilee of UISG (1965-2015).
Upon receiving this proposal, many Superior General responded enthusiastically: some sent sisters to be a part of the project, others offered economic resources.
The project, on the invitation of Bishop Franco Montenegro of the Archdiocese of Agrigento and with the support of Bishop Calogero Peri, bishop of Caltagirone, provides for the establishment of an intercongregational, international and intercultural community, residing in two houses, one in Ramacca (diocese of Caltagirone) and another in Agrigento where they will “be a bridge between the migrants who come ashore in Sicily and the people of the area, in order to build a true integration.”
There are ten sisters involved: two from India (Sisters of Charity of the Cross, Immaculate Heart of Mary), two from Eritrea (Capuchins of Mother Rubatto, Daughters of St. Ann), one Congolese (Our Lady of Africa), one Ethiopian (Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady), an Argentinian (Sisters of Don Orione), one Italian, one French and one Polish (Society of the Sacred Heart). They represent different congregations, different charisms making themselves available to the dioceses of Agrigento and Caltagirone, at the service of migrants.
“We go on tip-toe, respecting the richness of listening to the needs in order to then build, together with our local partners, an ad-hoc project that respects the rights and dignity of those arriving in our country. We wish to be a credible witness that it is possible for different cultures, nationalities and languages to live together, if we are united by a common mission and moved by the one Spirit who acts and is present in each of us and in the world.” Sr. Elisabetta, responsible for the project
After a period of formation that took place in Rome in October and November 2015, they arrived in Sicily on December 14.
For further information, please contact UISG, Sr. Elisabetta Flick (Migrants Project Sicily): firstname.lastname@example.org or Sr. Florence de la Villeon (Migrants International Desk) email@example.com