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Experience of Mercy and Knowledge: In Italy with the HIC SUM Project

Reflections and Teachings on Solidarity and Welcoming in the Guamo Parish Community

I spent four months in Italy for the HIC SUM project training. I was welcomed by the Parish Community of Guamo, in the province of Lucca. Despite the language barrier and my difficulty in learning Italian, I was able in this experience to deepen my understanding of the works of mercy. I thank God for this opportunity that through the intercession of Mary has protected and guided me with favor. I am grateful for all the knowledge I have gained. The works of mercy have also been revealed to me through the people who have taken care of me in these months and who truly live according to the Word of God. In this regard I quote this passage from the Gospel “So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

The Works Of Mercy

The works of mercy, are they not a way to unite us with Christ in our daily lives? They are! The works of mercy connect us to God and put us in a position to accept his teachings. God is the conductor of all mercy expressed through works.

The Moments Of Celebration

It was a novelty for me to live one of the most meaningful times of the liturgical year in another community and far away from my congregation. I celebrated the Christmas season with the community of Guamo and with the Sisters of St. Gemma who hosted me in their Motherhouse during those days. I participated in the celebrations and shared the traditions and customs of the solemnity of the Epiphany by visiting many local children.

Hic Sum Vehicle Of Knowledge

During my time in Italy, I came to know and experience volunteering. Every human being has many needs, and those who cannot help themselves must be helped. Those who are alone, through the work of the volunteer, find courage, and if the Word of God is read and prayed together, even the destitute condition finds improvement. In addition to knowledge, I had the opportunity to live the works of mercy, visiting the sick, bringing food to the lonely, participating in catechesis with children.

I was taught how to make disinfectant product with a few ingredients, and this will be very useful to me in our community in Tanzania. In fact, when we go to visit the sick people in the village, we could use this product to clean and sanitize the rooms where they live.

I was taught some Italian recipes and also how to make pasta. I will make it for my community and for the needy people we visit.

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and give you food, thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and give you shelter, or naked and clothe you? What about when we saw you sick or in prison and came to visit you? Responding, the king will say to them, Verily I say unto you, Whenever you have done these things unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:37-40). These words question us and teach us to have compassion for all, to be unity and to live according to God’s Word.

In reflecting on my own experience, St. John Mary Vianney comes to mind. His life was an example of service and prayer, he gave many teachings on God’s love and mercy by practicing compassion toward all who asked for help. His was a life spent for the poor. Despite his sense of inadequacy, he kept strong in his faith. I thought back to him whenever I felt inadequate in carrying out some tasks that were entrusted to me.


I feel I should first thank Luigi, Selene, Claudia, Fr. Emanuele, Alessia, Sister Gloriosa, the Sisters of St. Gemma and all the Christians of the Guamo community whom I have had the grace to accompany in faith. May God bless them every day and may He think of their daily needs.

I ask the Lord to give me wisdom, faith and strength to carry out this project, to provide with the Bread of Mercy for the needy people I will meet and to form a nice group of volunteers with whom to carry out and spread works of mercy.

“Who shall I send? Who will be our messenger?” and I replied, “I’m here! Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8).

Sr. Milia Amani Fabiani

Sisters of St. Joseph of Mombasa


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