The province of Agrigento lives and witnesses the hope of new arrivals that come to the shores of this land. It treads with difficulty along the path to integration. Our Church is witness to people who have lived the experience of Exodus, who are seeking a new way of life, who seek protection from those who would exploit them.
Voluntarily or not, we find ourselves in contact with this humanity in movement, bearer of novelty and new challenges. The first, for Christians, is to be faithful to the Gospel by welcoming the foreigners.
Caritas, faithful to its pedagogical function, wants to contribute to the human and spiritual growth of every Christian and of the society of Agrigento in general in order to demonstrate the conviviality of differences, both via paths of reflection as well as through pedagogical services.
Poverty and families
The “Poverty and families” area aims to take care of the dynamics between poverty and the territory by activating parish communities so that they may rediscover their full missionary mandate by being closer to families in difficulty as they exercise the mandate received from the parish and according to the pedagogical function of Caritas. These objectives are achieved through the following actions: listening training (basic and specific) for the operators of the Parish Listening Centers, management of the Diocesan Listening Center, accompaniment and care of the relationship between parishes and the Diocesan Listening Center, implementation of new Listening Centers, management of the Desk for Microcredit, projects related to food support (diocese food collections, food multipliers, etc.) and support to those in poverty in general, reflections and insights on issues related to poverty in Italy and in our province, starting from data collected by the Diocese Listening Center, and then implementing educational and intervention programs to be implemented in the context of our Diocese.
Youth and Volunteering
The Youth area of the Diocesan Caritas of Agrigento promotes and develops an integrated system of actions in favor of promoting youth participation in the world of volunteering. The aim is to stimulate reflections on the foundational aspects of free action and promote the human growth of young people.
The main activities concern training courses proposed both in schools, through analysis workshops on the most relevant topics involving volunteering and service in the Church and beyond, and through awareness meetings and various activities in associations, parishes and meeting places. Furthermore, this area aspires to provide participants with the skills necessary for a more responsible approach to the world of service and volunteering, to sensitize them and engage their extra-curricular energies towards activities that have an undoubted human and social educational importance, and finally, involve them in concrete experiences of service that can help them to discover the positive value inherent in free and disinterested service.
In addition, the youth area organizes volunteer camps abroad with the purpose of involving young people aged 18 and up in personal human growth experiences through direct contact with realities different from their own: from exploratory journeys focused on the prospect of creating paths of mutual understanding to better comprehend the scope of volunteering abroad; to how they are structured, how they are organized and the differences to be treasured upon returning home; to experiences based on the sphere of the “relationship” that volunteers establish with host communities through the service carried at some reception facilities.
Much space is also given to interreligious dialogue, to directly listening to experiences of cooperation on location and to visiting places of major cultural, historical and religious interest.
The primary objective is to support and expand the relational level between volunteers and the host community, trying to overcome limits imposed by the language, through a necessary closeness and a communication of the desire to share a part of life held in common.
There are many examples of how disability does not exist, but is best viewed as different abilities that are waiting to emerge within a sensitive environment.
The goal that Caritas has set for itself is to create, within the Christian community, that sensitive environment where the differently-abled person feels welcomed and is therefore able to fully express their talents.
This encounter with “diversability” is therefore an opportunity for the human and Christian growth within our ecclesial community because it allows us:
– to recognize the presence in our communities of many young people who, due to psycho-motor impairment, find themselves living on the margins of the social and ecclesial context;
– to recognize their presence as brothers and sisters in the faith, recipients of the announcement of hope from the Gospel, of which we must not lose interest as an ecclesial community;
– to recognize their right to feel loved and appreciated and, at the same time, our duty as a Christian community to help bear their cross and that of their families;
– to support their family members in their difficult task;
– to offer to the ecclesial community of Agrigento the opportunity to live a concrete experience of service alongside the differently abled, to rediscover the value of human life and the potentialities of goodness contained in every man;
– to offer to differently-abled people real opportunities for integration in the socio-ecclesial network.
This area is also committed to help the society to recognize the presence of elderly people and to enhance their life experiences within civil society.
the “Third age” brings in itself precious skills that must be recognized and valued.
Conversely, unfortunately, many elderly people live alone and at the margins of our communities.
Global worldview and emergencies
The Global worldview and Emergencies area aims to educate the Christian community to a worldview that extends to the entire world, particularly paying attention to those realities that, due to their structural or supervening fragility, require greater closeness to the Christian community.
The activities of Casa della Pace (The Gobal worldview Education Center) are specifically expressed:
– in contributing to human and social development in Third World countries;
– in launching ways of sensitizing public opinion to issues of social injustice and the disparity between the north and south of the world;
– in designing interventions in Least Developed Countries (LDCs);
– in sending economic aid to support projects to be implemented in the LDCs with which our Diocese has a relationship;
– in coordinating initiatives of various Christian-inspired groups and movements abroad;
– to organizing and coordinating emergency interventions in the event of public disasters, occurring in Italy or abroad;
– in sensitizing the ecclesial and civil community to the principles of universal solidarity, New Lifestyles, Peace Education, and the Safeguarding of Creation.
Includes all those actions aimed at those who need a new beginning, a reintegration into the ecclesial and civil community. They include:
– Former prisoners and people subjected to probationary measures
– Granata Corner – Social and work orientation desk
– Rahab House – Social Housing for homeless people
– Volunteering training through meetings in the parishes
– Operator training for Listening Centers and the Parochial Caritas
– Spiritual training for operators and volunteers
– School projects for voluntary and global education
– Intercultural education projects
– The Policoro Project for the promotion of youth entrepreneurship.