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Constructive Examples of tenacity and philanthropic commitment

15 April 2010

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How the Congregation of the Sisters of St John the Baptist was born ?

"In June 1594 in Genoa, Camilla Medea Ghiglini Patellani 26, widowed with six other classmates, share a life of prayer and service to the poor and give rise to the Congregation of the Sisters of St. John the Baptist and St. Catherine of Siena called "Medea" by the name of the founder. A group of spiritual women, born around the Jesuit community who lives and works in the neighborhood of the pier, a group of friends chose for herself not a monastery on the mountain, but being companions of Jesus carrying the cross roads of the world, where the man lives. They live together in some rooms rented in a neighborhood in the center of Genoa, where social life is buzzing around the harbor. It is also the place where born and lived the same Medea. Together identify new horizons in the formation of women call in person to work for its full growth, their autonomy and dignity and give its specific contribution in society. Particularly dedicated to human and Christian formation of young girls also internalizing them in their home. The community of Medea is configured from the beginning as the educational community. This style will be present in every area of service. Since 1594, in Italy, has seen a succession of new foundations, even if the congregation as a whole, will remain a small family. In 1950 he opened the first community in Brazil, followed by Albania, Bolivia, Argentina and 2005 in the Congo, newest community. "

What are the motivations underlying the objectives pursued by your work?
"Faith in Jesus Christ and the power of his message of love. We believe in the possibility of a more humane and just, in the dignity of every person in the brotherhood between peoples regardless of skin color, religious beliefs, social situation. We believe in the power of the Gospel and the person of Jesus, to whom we donated all our lives as women. Spread the Kingdom of God in a world thirsting for love and justice is a consequence of our living together to serve, attentive to the person and in particular to women, to young and poor, included in the real human side of every person .

Why did you choose the Congo as a nation in which to undertake activities to assist the local population?
"It is a gift of Providence. We met in Italy, the brother of a young priest of Congo Brazzaville, wanting to be a nun. Then the war broke out and for five long years since this young man has an answer finally successful in 2000. Have since added other young people who wanted to be part of our congregation. Through correspondence we came in contact with it really painful result of the war: violence, destruction, hunger, disease, .... From the accounts showed a lack of hope for the future. The women and children Photo and aid required, put in the heart of some of us desire to be there a presence of hope and conviction that our charism of service could be an opportunity. In 2003, two of us have visited some areas of the Republic of Congo. The situation of women and many children have convinced us that we could make our small contribution, and the expansion of a charisma that has the core of the communion and the service was a gift from God for these people. In January 2005, when we arrived in Brazzaville, we tried a suburb near the abandoned military base here and we planted our poor tent renting a house. "

In your human and professional experience, there are points of union between Italy and Africa as a country representative of the West and in what context they found more gaps and differences between them?

"The experience of these years that I view as closer to Africa, gives me the certainty that what we can unite and actually connects Italy to Africa (the one I know) this is the big heart in people: welcome, hospitality, energy work, family values, the beauty of nature and love of the land, the sense of the sacred. Values in Italy are now a bit 'at risk but still very present. Italy, like Africa, has experienced poverty, poverty, migration, submission. The gaps and differences? Italy is a small country, Africa is enormous. Italy is a country free, democratic, which uses its resources for the good of his people, who managed with the blood of her children to ransom. And Africa has yet to do so from this point of view! "

When human action is defined as "good" and what man can actually do to make significant improvements in a beautiful and difficult as the Congo? "

I believe that action can be considered" good "when helping others to grow as a person and as a people, gives him the chance to live a decent life while respecting their culture, know retreat when the other has learned to walk alone and manage the resources of its territory when it humiliates him in a vacuum but educates welfarism to find in himself the resources to build its future. I think it's possible a healthy aid to these populations. Promoting, here in Italy, an increasingly broad awareness among the public, the urgency of effective joint action to eradicate poverty and to ensure respect for fundamental human rights. Give greater voice to these populations. Improving relations and exchanges between the communities of our country and those of Congo. Intensify cooperation projects and invest in the development of local economy based on the requirements and needs of the area. Promote the exchange of experiences between entrepreneurs and working in solidarity. Support projects in health and education, training on site. Intervene in emergency situations. Respect the culture. Italy may be, internationally, the "voice" of those who have no voice in the great land, to increase international solidarity and a sense of justice. "

Could you describe briefly the main features of the project you want to achieve in Brazzaville?
"Our first desire is to be a presence of peace, forgiveness and hope. We want to make our contribution because these people build confidence, solidarity, brotherhood and can regain the knowledge that the land where he lives is his and that inside there are real possibilities for a decent life for every person. Specifically we have already started projects, aided, as always, by the goodness and generosity of the Italian people.
In the parish Ndunzia Mpungu - Nfilu, we built a clinic already functional and running workshops with a focus on women marginalized, the vulnerable, those whom no one thinks with the support distance.
It is our desire that these works are carried out by locals, with the style and culture that must be preserved and found in certain areas, so we have chosen to send two nuns to coordinate. The youth in the community are already working. In education and training we grow together in respect of their culture.
It is necessary that Africa safeguards and becoming ever more deeply rooted and human and Christian values already present in this population. There are plans to house training, a nutritional center for children during the day with a little dispensary. The woman and the child remain the priority of our service.

"We were not made to live like brutes but to follow virtue and knowledge"

The question arises often, or at least most do, what is the meaning of life and just as often we wonder for what mysterious reason our pace is sometimes interrupted by events that break our apparent equilibrium. Too fatalistic, too decent to be able to break the lines, often remain inert in the face of our smallness and our miseries and we question ourselves about the true origins of events, if we looked hard, we would understand more things and there would be many more truths revealed of those mystifying appearance communicates to us.

How many of us get to the other is not given to know, though often we hide and we just give that a minimum required by the canons down; dressed in a robe of doing good, we neglect our duty as men, as sons of God, committed as has to safeguard its "backyard". Well there are those who, conscious of the immense beauty of life, the infinite light that every small gesture and speech are able to emanate, bestows and offers every division and the essence of themselves because others benefit.

There are people like Sister Marisa of the Congregation of Sisters of St. John the Baptist and St. Catherine of Siena-Medea "who devote their lives to make the daily commitment is facing the less fortunate people, so that at least part of them, however small both, may be of practical help. There is another tune, another song, another sound: like precious stones, set among the silences between the whispers and rumors of life, known as charming, human actions of those who devote themselves to those who really need help, they hatch and manifest their vehemence. All that stirs the soul and entice hidden motions out of the lethargy in which we often contains.

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