Albania: a missionary summer

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Summer time is not holiday time, but a time for different experiences in our Redemptorist Mission in Albania,. Our interprovincial community opens its doors to share life and mission with those who want to receive some missionary experience and to meet the most abandoned peole.

Seminarists – students

Firstly, I wish to say that, our interprovincial community is open for those who are in initial formation. In June, we had with us the student Carlos Alfonso Diego Gutierrez CSsR, from Madrid Province. He is a graduate in translation and interpretation, and therefore he gave an English language courses for children and young adults in Kasallë and in Kamëz. He also participated in several youth meetings in Albania and was also with our Albanian youth in Krakow (Poland) for WYD 2016.

During the first half of July, two seminarians from “Redemptoris Mater Seminary” of Lezhë, Kostiantyn (Ukraine) and Nelson (Dominican Republic) – members of the Neocatechumenal Way – lived in our community. Both of them helped during various summer camps that were operating in Kamëz and Bathore.

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Children & youth Summer Camps

Summer time is very hot in Albania (always between 30 and 40 degrees) and especially during this time there is a lot of work with children and youth. In our mission we had 7 summer camps only !!! There were three weekly meetings in Kamëz: “the Week of Faith”, “the week of Summer Camp” with games and “the Week of various activities” before the parish feast. There were also “the parish summer camp” in Bathore and “the summer camp” in Instituti. There was the Parish Summer Camp in Arrameras and in Luz and for the end of vacation there has been another Summer Camp in Kasallë. Everything was possible thanks to the help of the animators who are working all the year in Kamëz and in Bathore, and thanks to the volunteers who come to help us only for this special time.

Volunteer missionaries

From the very beginning our interprovincial community decided that the doors of our community will be opened for young volunteers who want have a missionary experience in Albania. For the second year we had volunteers, but this year all of them were from Spain!!! During the third week of June, a Spanish dentist, Mr. Pablo worked with us. First he renewed two dental offices that have not been used for two years in Arrameras. Then he started his work and he initiated a dental hygiene programme among the people of Arrameras and Luz. Also more than 150 Spanish young people from Madrid and Barcelona, came to Albania for a volunteer experience during the first three weeks of July. They worked in groups of 15 people, in Kamëz, in Bathore and in Arrameras.

Seven Spanish missionary volunteers (from the Redemptorist Volunteer Service of Spain) came to our Mission from 28th July to 18th August. Six of them are from Seville and one from Madrid. Four of them were with us for the second time (Nacho, Mariro, Chema and Jorge) and others were for the first time (Soledad, Jose and Ana).  They conducted games, music and artistic programmes in Kamëz, Luz and Arrameras.

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World Youth Day 2016 Krakow

WYD in Krakow was another very important moment for us. It was the first time our Redemptorist Mission of Albania with a group of young Albanians participated in this kind of meetings.  Father Andrzej Michon was responsible for this pilgrimage and also for the young people from the whole diocese. The Alfonsian Day was a special moment of sharing of our experiences with the youth for the whole world.

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Renewal in Kasallë

Because summer days are very long we found time also for other things. The vicar of the Provincial of Rome, Fr. Gilberto Silvestri, was with us a few weeks. We were in Foggia for the beatification of Mother Celeste Crostarosa in June and for the canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta in Rome in September. Moreover we enjoyed moments of recreation with the youth on the beaches and also the various feasts in many of our parishes.

We’ve even had time to paint the “Our Lady of Perpetual Help” parish centre in Kasallë (the chapel, the rooms where are the kindergarten, the course of foreign language, and the upper room, where we placed a ping-pong table for the Oratory. There is also the professional net for volleyball outside our centre.

Anyway … our Missions is growing! We invite everybody!

The Interprovincial Community of Albania

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