PALERMO

GEO-POLITICAL SITUATION

Palermo is an Italian city of 655,343 inhabitants, capital of the province of Palermo and the Sicilian Region.

It is the fifth Italian city by population, is also the main urban center of Sicily. The metropolitan area of Palermo, which includes the capital and 26 other municipalities with a population of 1,044,426 inhabitants.

Extended along the homonymous gulf on the Tyrrhenian Sea and lies on the plain of the Conca d’Oro, so called because of the typical colors of citrus, is completely surrounded by natural walls:: the mountains of Palermo. The urban, suburban and city center, is divided by the river Oreto.

Palermo’s urban development has affected a lot of different cultures that have occurred over the course of centuries, presenting now a wide variety of environments and views that make the historic center as a place separate from the so-called New Palermo, the result of the expansion construction uncontrolled in 1962.

SITUATION (SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND RELIGIOUS)

Founded as a city-port by the Phoenicians around 734 BC, has a long history that has left a great artistic and architectural heritage. For cultural, artistic and economic reasons has been among the major cities of the Mediterranean and today is one of the main tourist destinations of south Italy and among the major destinations of the cruisers in the Meditteranean basin.

PALERMO is the seat of the Regional Assembly, the University and the main regional archdiocese.

Although the area is predominantly urbanized, within the municipality are still large areas devoted to agriculture, especially the cultivation of a type of local mandarin  and loquats. Fishing activity is still important: large groups of fishermen are present in some smaller ports.  Just off the coast town is remarkable tuna farming. Cattle farming is mainly spread beyond the hills bordering the city’s urban fabric.

The main industrial center is the port city of Palermo in the presence of shipyards that produce a large induced. The service industry and services represent the largest city economy. Important is that the banking sector. The number of hotels and other accomodations has increased between 2001 and 2009. The commercial sector is detail-oriented and small and medium size companies. The twentieth century was unfortunately characterized by the development of the Mafia and the fight against COSA NOSTRA.

IMMIGRATION: At the beginning of 2010, 18,188 foreigners  were living in Palermo. Collectively, those of the Indian subcontinent are the largest group forming 35.4 percent of all immigrants, the most numerous are those from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Significant growth in the presence of Chinese, concentrated mostly in the central station, where he is developing a small Chinatown around a small shopping center built with international agreement between China and Italy.

The most common religion, evidenced also by the large number of churches, is the Roman Catholic, but there are also other Christian churches: Anglican, Evangelical, Waldensians, Protestant and Orthodox. In the rapid spread of Islam favored by the large number of immigrants from North African countries. Following this increase in population, was established in 1990 the first modern mosque of Palermo derived from the old church of San Paolino, desacrated and  sold by the Curia to the same region and the Islamic community, although the town was known as the period of Arab domination as the city of three hundred mosques. In some churches, faiths have merged with the course of centuries, giving rise to half of the rites of the Western tradition, and the eastern half. (See it.wikipedia.org / wiki / Palermo)

Our community is in the area known as Royal Palace or Albergaria (also known as palaces) is the second unit of the first level of Palermo. The area is the oldest in the city. It is located in the historic center and is one of the four historic districts, is part of the district. Area: 0.565996 km ². Has long been a highly degraded area, only in the last decade has been rediscovered and re-training. Inside, it hosts the famous market town of Ballarò: the oldest markets of Palermo and one of the most picturesque market of food that come from the countryside of Palermo. In this area live on 30% of immigrants in the city, many of them from North Africa, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire under conditions of insecurity and exploitation.

The area dell’Albergheria was defined by the Diocesan Convention of 1990 one of “risk areas”, as there are situations of religious illiteracy and ignorance, not able of   changing attitudes, material poverty that follows a moral poverty that afflicts human society: muggings, drugs, alcoholism, prostitution, and especially broken families.

In terms of the local church is noted the lack of pastoral activity organized and participated.

In the district there are other communities of religious institutes that give a contribution appropriate to their ability and according to their charism.

PRESENCE OF THE COMBONI MISSIONARY SISTERS

The parish, which resides in our community since 1992, is that of St. Nicholas of Bari all’Albergheria. The activities of the Parish Pastoral is fragmented into many small poles (7 fraternities) to network with difficulty.

The parish is headed by two years by a Salesian priest with whom we work for catechetical ministry, Immigrants, listening center, Caritas: human  trafficking.

Currently our community is made up of 4 sisters. We live in an apartment on the second floor of the rectory surrounded by three pubs on the street where every night about three hundred / three hundred and fifty people came to the “beer and other ‘with deafening music, about three o’clock at night they go slowly.

The context of high immigration with degradation and poverty, and re-evangelization requires attention to the condition of the woman who often live under oppression, injustice bordering on slavery and trafficking. Our task of mission is a broad spectrum in different areas with a stronger presence in Agrigento well organized in collaboration with the Comboni family in Sicily.

At the request of the bishop of Agrigento from two years, two sisters, go in a parish of Agrigento every 15 days to animate a missionary parishes and be with immigrants. It works with a pair of lay Comboni.

PURPOSE OF OUR PRESENCE

Mission and vocation, assistance to immigrants, parish ministry.

In Agrigento specificity is to animate a missionary parishes of the diocese and assist in the formation of ministries.

MINISTRIES

– Parish Catechesis
– Catechumenate
– Animation missionary based in Palermo, Agrigento and where invited
– The Way Young Missionary Commitment (IMD) in collaboration with the Comboni Missionaries and Lay / that Comboni – Listening Center
–  CARITAS:  HUMAN TRAFFICKING

infositoweb@comboniane.org