EUROPE/UKRAINE - The war does not stop the summer activities organized by the Orionines in Lviv for 120 young people

Friday, 15 July 2022 wars   youth   pastoral   religious institutes  

Lviv (Agenzia Fides) - 120 children and young people participate this year in the "Happy Holidays", the traditional summer event organized in Lviv by the priests of Don Orione. The religious continue their activities which, in this time marked by war, are addressed above all to those who come to them in search of help and support, both material and moral. The war has not interrupted this initiative that has characterized the summers of many children and young people in Ukraine for seventeen years. It all started in 2005, says Don Moreno Cattelan, from the "Don Orione" Monastery in Lviv, when we decided to organize a summer center to which we gave a happy and appropriate name: "Le Allegre Vacanze" (Happy Holidays). "With the help of some young volunteer animators, we launched the initiative," he continues. It attracted more than 400 children and young people. We had to work double shifts because the few rooms that the neighborhood school had made available as a collection point for the different activities were not enough to accommodate everyone. At the end of the beautiful experience, while the performances of the different teams that had participated in the summer center were taking place, a group of mothers approached us: 'Now don't leave us alone! Keep taking care of our children’ was their cry as parents. We welcomed it as a blessing. That was all we needed to understand this 'sign of the times' and how we should move, even in the midst of the many difficulties of starting a mission". Seventeen years have passed since that heartfelt appeal and, despite the war, the religious of Don Orione continue to fulfill the promise made to that small group of mothers and to many others who have followed them over the years. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 15/7/2022)