In Italy, Emilia-Romagna region president Stefano Bonaccini recently visited Casa Mia, an Adventist retirement home in Forlì, in response to an invitation from the director of the facility.
“You are a piece of a welfare system with many faces,” Bonaccini said. “We must keep the quality of services high precisely because they cater to people who need the quality of care not to be lowered.”
He emphasized the role of facilities such as Casa Mia. “Nursing homes do not repair cars or dishwashers; they deal with people, who are helped with their weaknesses and fragility, with their feelings, their suffering, and, often, their hopes.”
For this reason, Bonaccini said, “you are a very important presence and, from what you told me, you are even thinking of increasing your investments, of adding space to care for more people.”
Bonaccini closed by thanking Adventist leaders for their work and support of the Forlì facility.
“Thank you very much for what you do,” he said. “We want to have the best relationship with everyone. Instead of raising walls, we must build bridges. So, regardless of your skin color, your religion, your language, we seek harmony, friendship, and solidarity.”
Stefano Paris, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Italy, welcomed Bonaccini and other local and regional officials.
“It is an important moment; it is a piece of our history,” Paris said, referring to Bonaccini’s visit. In 1999, Casa Mia had welcomed the visit of Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, then president of Italy.
"This is a story,” he said, “that you want to make available to citizens because a church is such when it manages to enter the social fabric with the aim of doing good.And the good today is not easy to do.”
The Adventist community, however, has always focused on this element of seeking good in society, Paris said. “I want to thank especially the nurses of this nursing home, who make it all possible,” he added.
He concluded with a proverb from Solomon recorded in Proverbs 27:7. “As iron sharpens iron, one person sharpens another,” Paris quoted. “In the same way, working together and in close connection for the common good, we can become a strength, especially in difficult moments like the ones we are living in," he said.
At the end of the tour of the facilities, Paris presented Bonaccini with a plaque signed by the employees and guests of Casa Mia in recognition of his work and service. “To President Bonaccini, for his great commitment, admirable dedication and constant challenges in the role of governor in Emilia-Romagna. The guests and employees of the ‘Casa Mia’ retirement home,” the plaque reads.
By Lina Ferrara, Hope Media Italia, and Adventist Review