Happy Easter 2017

Happy Easter to all my friends reading this.

This time, I'm writing to you from Italy, where I am recovering after my umpteenth surgery, a reverse shoulder prosthesis. It’s the result of having used my arm and shoulder too much in working, carrying heavy weights, perhaps in cradling children. I’ve held so many of them in my arms, sweet weights to care for, console, and love. The same children that you help us take care of, giving them the gift of life and a future. This is why I’ve started this letter by wishing you a HAPPY EASTER, or HAPPY CELEBRATION OF LIFE, life that wins despite pain, suffering, death.

 

Turoldo, a theologist/poet born into an impoverished family with many children, says: "the sweetest of all the Sacraments of the Church is love and compassion, piety and friendship, the sacrament that makes us truly human". Singular truths that flow straight from the heart of the Lord, the ultimate "MERCIFUL ONE", He who loved us so much that He died for us. His death in exchange for our life - mine, yours, the lives of all mankind past, present and future. It is only in rediscovering the true, profound meaning of those four words that we will be in tune with the way of the Lord and we can hope to no longer read headlines about "300 children trained by Daesh to die". Or about the remains of 796 children found buried in a mass grave in Ireland.

You, friends who are reading this, have already set the navigator of your hearts to the route of Life, continuing to give day after day, year after year, not only to your own children but also to children far away that you may never even meet in person. By now, there are thousands of young people - yesterday's children - that, thanks to you, have grown up in Adwa, and are growing and diving into the adventure of life. Many have already taken flight towards a destiny laid out for them, reaching unhoped-for success.

Luam has become a pilot for the national airline.

Benjam is a doctor.

Tewoelde is an engineer.

Thanks to you, the Ethiopian society has gained professional figures, fathers and mothers who, little by little, are building from within their own country, instead of dreaming of escaping on a boat.

Your contribution, which may seem modest, takes a problem that many governments are unable to manage - the desperation of illegal immigration - and solves it at the root, the right way.

We will soon have another strength we can count on to help our people stay where they were born: the hospital. As we speak, a team of electricians is finishing the electrical system. The operating theatres and the delivery rooms are in the making. Dozens of containers are being shipped, bringing everything we need to complete the first part of construction, which will be inaugurated - we hope - quite soon. Nurses, medical and administrative staff are already in Adwa, learning the language and becoming familiar with the local laws and culture. Groups of health care workers are taking turns, with an increasingly quick turnover, to help the people. Hospital instruments have already arrived, allowing us to expand the range of services and operations we can offer.

In Adwa, Easter is becoming a reality, despite massive ever-present problems and difficulties, because life grows, is taken care of, protected, and given back its dignity in the Image of its Creator. All of this is also thanks to you; you who help us embrace this slice of the world, making it yours.

That’s why I can repeat again, knowing how true my/our wish is: HAPPY EASTER!

Sister Laura and the entire mission