ITALY, Emanuela Turani •
For the boys of the “After Confirmation” group from Saints Patrons of Italy Parish and for the members of the Schoenstatt Youth, it was an extraordinary Palm Sunday.
To tell us about it is Emanuela, 17, who personally took part in the organization of the day.
Speaking to the faithful in his Lenten message, Pope Francis was perhaps implicitly pushing us all to act, during a period of reflection and meditation, yes, but also to bear witness to our faith, a faith that, following the example of Jesus, always invites us to come out to help and assist the other.
So letting us being guided by the Pope’s words, and, thanks to the encouragement from our spiritual guides toward our attitude of reaching out and our willpower, we, the young people of the After Confirmation group from the Patron Saints of Italy Parish, decided to devote our energies in pursuing a volunteer activity. After discussing this during our meetings and choosing two young ladies to whom we entrusted the organization of our endeavor, we’ve dived headlong into the adventure.
The Institute of Assistance to the Elderly we went to, which is run by the Little Sisters of the Poor, welcomed us with open arms!
The day began with the Palm Sunday Eucharistic celebration, on April 9, a priest from the area celebrated and our Father Beltrán concelebrated. It was a celebration full of rejoicing and greatly animated thanks to the songs, the readings, and the final testimony prepared by us. It has made us gather together in a moment very important for us, and has made us draw near to a “hidden” reality for our young eyes.
After the Eucharistic celebration, between a chat and the overall joy of being together in the facility’s magnificent garden, we helped serve lunch. And while some of us closely followed the cook’s instructions to serve the meal, others were engaged in listening to anecdotes and pearls of wisdom shared with us by our new friends. Each of them, making us feel a bit like their grandchildren, opened our hearts, made us laugh, moved us, and even caused us to reflect. And in the end no one wanted to leave their own table even for a second but to stay with Maria, Carlo, and Angelina, whose faces were covered by fantastic smiles of those who knew they were wanted and listened to, and that was the biggest achievement of our mission.
Finally a goodbye
Accompanying us there were also the faithful and greatly appreciated Paraguayan missionaries, who after the convivial lunch while charming entire tables of the older participants, had everyone enjoy the day with the sound of guitar and singing both American and Italian songs.
Unfortunately when we arrived at the end of the day, we parted the cozy home, in the heart of St. Peter in Vincoli, with a bit of sadness, but with the promise to see each other again very soon.
Original: Italian: 7/5/17 Translation: Valerio Salvador, Johannesburg, South Africa. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA