Little Sisters of Jesus in Albania. A future of trust and friendship in Tirana

Tirana at ChristmasTirana at Christmas

Tirana is not off the map! Apparently it has the highest pollution count in Europe!This has been part of the agenda for interfaith dialogue.

We have also been interested in talks to foster tolerance between our different religious traditions and build up peace. Because of our history under the former Communist Regime, there is need of healing between the Orthodox and Catholic Oriental Church. This touches our everyday life. How to put history behind us and focus rather on how to transmit the faith we hold so dear, to the future generation?

What can I tell you about our everyday life? We have many friends in the Travelling community. We are in touch with a group of young people who are specially concerned with 'street children'.They try to get them registered and sensitize the families about schooling and hygiene.

We are also in touch with Christian neighbours who cannot get out to go to Church and we bring them holy communion.

Above all we have a lot of contact with the local prison where we try to bring a bit of human warmth and convey something of God's tenderness to each one. There are from 72 to 82 prisoners who live often 8 to 10 in a cell, which brings tension and serious quarrels. Sometimes when we go and visit prisoners we have got to know better, we manage to get permission to bring their children to visit with us.

At the beginning of the year prisoners who have completed half of their sentence were given the permission to go home for four to seven days; a good way to prepare for returning for good to be with their families.

At Easter, a young Salesian Priest celebrated the Sacrament of

Our friends who have left prison are also faced with all sorts of difficulties. It is not easy to build up your life again and find a job and not to be dependent on crime. Sometimes too when their children have been placed in care they have to struggle through so much red tape to bring them back home and they receive no help from the State.

In September a general amnesty was announced for prisoners but unfortunately it never materialized.

Our life here is made up above all of small things, small gestures, being attentive to all that can bring a ray of hope or build up respect.

Tirana, at homeTirana, at home