Italy – 400 Foreign Minors at the First Salesian Feast of Migrants

(ANS – Palermo) – The first Regional Meeting of Migrants of Salesian Sicily was held last Sunday, January 22nd, in Palermo: a real feast for about 400 young migrants hosted in 7 reception centres, promoted by the association “Don Bosco Island” to witness the commitment of the Salesian Family to the care and social integration of the young migrants who arrive in the island.

The young migrants, the operators and educators of the 7 reception centres of San Gregorio, Cammarata, Camporeale, Catania, Piazza Armerina, Aidone and Villarosa met at the “Pala Don Bosco” of the “Gesù Adolescente” house in Palermo. They participated in a day on integration, characterized by the display of the African culture of the children and by a five-a-side tournament.

The Mayor of Palermo too, Leoluca Orlando, took part in the event. He presented the contents of the “Charter of Palermo on International Human Mobility” and commented: “The Salesian presence in the city and in Sicily is a presence marked by reception and solidarity”.

The theme of the feast was presented by the Provincial of the Salesians in Sicily, Fr. Giuseppe Ruta: “With you or without you is not the same”. Fr. Ruta highlighted that Don Bosco, the Saint of the Youth, is recognized as Father, Teacher and Friend also by Muslim migrants, and added, “Do have the courage to go forth… Alone, you can go nowhere… The family of Don Bosco welcomes you and supports you. Remember that you are not alone… because ‘We are Family’, the family of Don Bosco, the family of all the youth of the world!”

The Rector Major of the Salesians as well, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, through a video-greeting, sent his message: “You are among the ones preferred by Don Bosco, so you are welcome among us! We hope to be able to accompany and help you in the best possible way (…). Our doors are open, be happy, be good”.

“This is an appointment that must certainly be repeated, with the commitment to living in a familiar and professional way, in everyday life, among foreign unaccompanied minors,” commented Fr. Giuseppe Cutrupi SDB, Delegate of the Province of Sicily for Marginalization and Juvenile Unease.

The “Don Bosco Island” Association comprises the SDBs and FMAs of Sicily, the “Salesians for Social Service” Federation, and Salesians NGOs “Don Bosco 2000”, “Metacometa”, “VIS” and “VIDES”.

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