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Rome Reports

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How Italian nuns are changing a small town in Romania

SISTER ELISABETTA BAROLO Missionarie della Passione di Gesí¹ (Italy) "We first try to offer motherly love. It is hard to replace, but we try to make them smile. So we take them to school, but we also introduce them into society and parish life, so they can have a better life.â? The living conditions are quite challenging in Butea. The elderly usually survive on a pension of about 120 dollars a month. They have no electricity, running water, gas or  sidewalks. Often trash collectors, refuse to pick up the town's waste. In the winter, the temperatures can drop to 20 degrees below zero. For those without shelter it can be a matter between life and death. That's just one of the reasons why the work of these nuns is so vital. SISTER ELISABETTA BAROLO Missionarie della Passione di Gesí¹ (Italy) "We built this house that shelters 25 children. We also built a house for the sick and the elderly which houses 42 elders. Now we want to help young alcoholics and others who are at a standstill because of their addiction.â? In Romania, poverty is usually seen in children and the elderly, while adults are often forced to leave their home country for economical reasons. So day after day, these Italian nuns face the problem directly, by helping the needy and encouraging them to have hope. VIC/KLH MG -VM -PR