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“Music for the Mission” DC support Mission in Eritrea

by | Feb 24, 2015 | Daughters of Charity, News

Eritrea CD“MUSIC FOR THE MISSION” SUPPORTING THE MISSION IN ERITREA

By: Sister Raffaella Spiezio DC

The Internet recently lit up when a young Italian nun Won the Italian “Voice

They may not have won the Voice but a group of young Vincentian lay missioners have figured out how to support the ongong activities of their mission in Eritrea by producing a CD. They have been able to establish a fund of over ten thousand Euros.

The current issue of NUNTIA JANUARY 2015, the official international newsletter of the Congregation of the Mission offers the following account.

In reality the missionary experience does not end when the various individuals return to their homeland. Through the efforts of these “returning missionaries” many projects on behalf of the people of Eritrea have been financed. After this recent mission, the individuals began to look for resources that would enable them to continue to support the various projects in Eritrea. Thus came the inspiration to record a CD with the support of the Parish of the Sagrado Corazon de Grosseto. This is a musical CD that contains a song in which the children of Eritrea sing and alternate with the voices of the Missionaries and some other individuals. The song is called “Despertaremos el mundo” (Let us awaken the world!) and was inspired by the words that Pope Francis addressed to the young people: the fundamental   question   that   is   raised   by   the missionaries as they confront the various forms of injustice and poverty is this: is it possible to awaken the world?

 Three months have passed since the return of the missionary team from Eritrea but now, as a result of that profound experience, they have been able to engage in certain activities to support the mission in Eritrea. The CD, Despertaremos el mundo!, has created much interest and has involved many people … this in turn has enabled the group to sell many CD’s resulting in the collection of 5,935 euros for the mission. That amount, together with the money from other activities, has enabled the missionaries to establish a fund of 10,370 euros which will be sent to the Missionaries in Eritrea.

On January 15, this group of young men and women, together with the members of the Association Chebi with whom they have worked for some time, sent a 40 foot container to the Daughters of Charity. This container was filled with medicine and many other health care and sanitary items that will be used in the clinic that is administered by the Daughters. At the same time five solar panels were sent to the mission in Asmara (the Provincial house and house of formation) and to the mission in Dekamerè (a school).

The project began some years ago when a group of young Italians, accompanied by Father Francisco Gusmeroli, CM and Sister Raffaella Spiezio, DC, became involved in the mission in Eritrea … most recently during the month of September 2014.

Besides being a very practical experience, that is, in the sense of developing and accomplishing various projects, the mission has provided the individuals with a spiritual experience (an experience of prayer and the presence of God and an encounter with other brothers and sisters as a community is established). This year   the   mission   has   made us questions    ourselves     and     we     have     been profoundly touched.

The time of mission is a tempo forte¸ a privileged moment in which we are able to take a moment to pause and to reflect on life, a moment to pray and then balance our life in God … opening ourselves to the newness which each day presents to us, giving witness to the gospel and to all that we have learned during our time on the mission.

In essence, the mission became a life- changing experience, an experience of faith that began with our time of prayer together and continued as we reached out to the members of the Eritrean community. All of this made us aware of the historicity of our faith, a faith that questions and encourages us.

In the neighboring villages each day began and ended in the presence of God. Before sunrise, at about four o’clock in the morning, the church bells rang and people gathered in church to pray and to celebrate the Eucharist … and they did this before leading out their animals into the fields. Despite the numerous difficulties that they encounter in life (the lack of material goods, including food) the Eritrean people have a great dignity and even though they suffer, they do not become discouraged but rather trust in God: Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more important than they? … Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides (Matthew 6:26, 33).

Our contact with the Eritrean people enabled to discover that they had everything even though they had nothing.

Some ten years ago and in an attempt to share the little that they have, the Daughters of the Charity and the Vincentian Missionaries who minister in Eritrea have allowed young men and women to engage in this missionary experience on a yearly basis. Their hope is that these young people will then be able to accompany the Eritrean people in their suffering. The images that are commonly viewed picture young men and women from Eritrea on the top of a mountain … and there they look out toward Europe and Italy and dream that if they could go to that far distant land, they would be able to forget the suffering that they experience on a daily basis in their own country.

In this experience of “becoming neighbor” various projects have been initiated with the intention of sustaining the people in this mission. For example, the construction of wells and cisterns to collect rain water, supporting an orphanage, projects that provide formation to young men and women, supporting students during the time of their primary and secondary school years, projects designed to combat malnutrition and famine.

In reality the missionary experience does not end when the various individuals return to their homeland. Through the efforts of these “returning missionaries” many projects on behalf of the people of Eritrea have been financed. After this recent mission, the individuals began to look for resources that would enable them to continue to support the various projects in Eritrea. Thus came the inspiration to record a CD with the support of the Parish of the Sagrado Corazon de Grosseto. This is a musical CD that contains a song in which the children of Eritrea sing and alternate with the voices of the Missionaries and some other individuals. The song is called “Despertaremos el mundo” (Let us awaken the world!) and was inspired by the words that Pope Francis addressed to the young people: the fundamental   question   that   is   raised   by   the missionaries as they confront the various forms of injustice and poverty is this: is it possible to awaken the world?

 Three months have passed since the return of the missionary team from Eritrea but now, as a result of that profound experience, they have been able to engage in certain activities to support the mission in Eritrea. The CD, Despertaremos el mundo!, has created much interest and has involved many people … this in turn has enabled the group to sell many CD’s resulting in the collection of 5,935 euros for the mission. That amount, together with the money from other activities, has enabled the missionaries to establish a fund of 10,370 euros which will be sent to the Missionaries in Eritrea.

On January 15, this group of young men and women, together with the members of the Association Chebi with whom they have worked for some time, sent a 40 foot container to the Daughters of Charity. This container was filled with medicine and many other health care and sanitary items that will be used in the clinic that is administered by the Daughters. At the same time five solar panels were sent to the mission in Asmara (the Provincial house and house of formation) and to the mission in Dekamerè (a school).

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