“I’ve been unemployed for two years, and despite the difficulties, I feel the need to make this small donation for those people who are in greater difficulties than I, and whom you and your community are helping.”
This is part of a letter received by Fr. Giuseppe Tedesco, pastor of one of the parishes of Busto Arsizio, in the diocese of Milan (northern Italy).
In early March, Fr. Giuseppe spearheaded a rescue mission. He and three parishioners took two vehicles and drove for 20 hours straight to reach the border between Poland and Ukraine to pick up some Ukrainian children who had already visited his parish in the past.
The link between Ukraine and Busto Arsizio has been very close since 1998. Since that year, dozens of Ukrainian children have been spending the summer in this town, hosted by families from different parishes.
Fr. Giuseppe says that after the first bombings he was able to talk to the children over the phone: some of them were very frightened and crying. One of them had lost his house to the bombs and was hiding with others in the basement of a school. When the priest learned that some of them had crossed the border into Poland, he quickly organized the trip to bring the children to Italy, together with a mother and her 14-day-old baby.
A few days after returning from the trip, he received an anonymous, handwritten letter with a donation. It was sent by a 58-year-old man, who states in the letter that he is not a parishioner of that parish but often attends Saturday Mass. The donor apologizes for his handwriting, mentioning that he has vision problems.
He has “a big heart,” comments Fr. Giuseppe on Facebook.
“This letter accompanied by a donation is worth more than a thousand homilies. It is charity, it is a heart that loves. May God bless you and repay you, dear brother. Your gesture is a beautiful page of the Gospel. I am waiting for you,” the pastor writes.