“Borders are always walls: they must be torn down, because the hope of a better world cannot be translated into a document, a certificate”, a nun devoted to the care of migrants has said.

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Sister Neusa de Fatima Mariano, Superior General of the Scalabrinian Sisters, was speaking to Vatican news agency Fides about a new project of the Congregation in Ventimiglia, on the border between Italy and France.

For the next three months, between now and December 20, three Scalabrinian Sisters – one Italian, one Filipino and one Brazilian – will be on the ground helping migrants who wish to get to France.


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It’s just the latest chapter of over a hundred years of dedication to migrants on the part of the Scalabrinian Sisters.

With the itinernant emergency service the Congregation has set up, the nuns hope to be present on border hotspots for refugees and forced migrants.

“It’s a challenge to accompany, to be travelling companions with those in difficulty”, said Sister Neusa de Fatima Mariano of the Congregation’s work.

“We are aware of the large number of borders that are places of emergency for migrants”.

“We have chosen to implement this new project to help migrants who, after crossing Africa and the Mediterranean, ask to go to France”, the religious continued.

“The will to build the city of God and of man, as Pope Francis says, is nourished with bridges of dialogue, and with hope in a more beautiful and serene future, which is a universal human right”.

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For the record

In July, the Scalabrinian Sisters, along with other religious groups, signed a moving indictment of “the spread in Italy of feelings of intolerance, rejection and violent discrimination against migrants and refugees who are seeking welcome and protection in our lands”.

“It is naive to believe that a civilisation that closes its doors is destined for a long and happy future”, the nuns said in their letter to the Italian President and Prime Minister.

“We wish to place ourselves next to all the poor of our country and, now more than ever, to those who come to Italy and see themselves denied the right of every man and every woman: peace and dignity”, the sisters wrote.

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