Landing in Sicily

Migrants walk as they disembark from navy ship in Sicilian harbor of Augusta.

At least 124,000 migrants entered Italy in the first eight months of this year, more than twice the 60,000 who arrived in all of 2013. The vast majority landed first in Sicily. Seeing to the new arrivals’ immediate needs in Sicily’s multiple port cities is now a joint effort between church and civil society. In January, the Palermo branch of Caritas signed a convention with city authorities to open four centers for migrants, known as extraordinary welcome centers, which currently house 160 people. When groups of migrants suddenly arrive, Caritas volunteers greet their boats with food, clothes and medical help. In an emergency, Palermo churches remove pews and install cots, provided by the city, for stays of as long as a week. In Catania, the Caritas Help Center stayed open the whole summer to provide food, shelter and clothing to some 400 migrants and other homeless people. “The poor don’t go away on vacation,” the Rev. Piero Galvano, director of Caritas in Catania, told BlogSicilia, an online publication, in July. “Migrants deserve being treated with dignity and respect. Tending to them is a sign of civilization.”

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.


The latest from america

I have found that praying 15 minutes every day is an important form of self-care.
Michael R. Lovell January 16, 2019
Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, Washington's retired archbishop, apologized Jan. 15 for what he called a "lapse of memory," clarifying that he knew of at least one abuse allegation against former U.S. Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, but he had "forgotten" about it.
Pope Francis meets with the leadership of the Chilean bishops' conference at the Vatican on Jan. 14 to talk about the sex abuse crisis affecting the church in Chile. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
The pope wants the February summit “to be an assembly of pastors, not an academic conference—a meeting characterized by prayer and discernment, a catechetical and working gathering.”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 16, 2019
This week on “Inside the Vatican,” we explore the topic of women deacons.
Colleen DulleJanuary 16, 2019