‘Our Mission Is to Care for Others’

In Italy, Adventist retirement home celebrates 40 years.

Andreas Mazza, Inter-European Division News
‘Our Mission Is to Care for Others’
The Adventist retirement home known as Casa Mia recently celebrated its first 40 years in Forlì, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. [Photo: screenshot by Inter-European Division News]

On November 13, in Forlì, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, managers, employees, and guests celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Casa Mia retirement home. Numerous civil and religious authorities were also present. The anniversary saw numerous speeches, group games with the elderly residents, and a rich concluding banquet.

Casa Mia is a social outreach initiative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Italy and part of the worldwide network of Adventist health-care institutions. Casa Mia endeavors to take care of the elderly in an appropriate environment, caring for each person’s needs and habits.

Casa Mia’s director, Fabian Nikolaus, said “Casa Mia represents an important response to the needs of the citizens of Forlì, especially seniors. Thanks to the excellent work of our team, Casa Mia has always been characterized as a structure of excellence. It is one of reasons we have an excellent relationship with government officers.” He added, “We also work to create and implement strategies together. Casa Mia represents a benchmark for the entire region.”

Giuseppe Cupertino, director of the Adventist Social Service in Italy, said, “Our mission is to offer elderly people adequate assistance when they are no longer able to provide for their needs and wants on their own.”

Nikolaus shared that now, Casa Mia is finishing the last stage of a specialized center for people with neurodegenerative dementia diseases such as Alzheimer’s. “This is an important core in our facilities, [and it will] become an even more important service option,” he said.

“Our mission as a church goes beyond what happens on Sabbath [Saturday] in church,” said Andrei Cretu, president of the Italian Union of the Adventist Church. “What is done in the nursing home is an example of this because our mission is to care for others. Here we are witnessing a fruit of the gospel that has been ripe for 40 years,” Cretu said.

About Casa Mia

Casa Mia was established four decades ago as a project seeking to accommodate self-sufficient elderly people. Over the years, various transformations have led to structural adaptations and the inclusion of elderly residents who are not self-sufficient, in response to the area’s new and growing needs. The facility has been modified and enlarged, becoming a reference center for people with various needs.

Inaugurated in 1983, the facility has undergone profound changes and, today, while maintaining a close link with its founding principles, Casa Mia has reached a new dimension. It has gone through a process of professionalization and staff qualification to guarantee services and interventions tailored to the different needs of its residents, regional church leader said.

From a structural point of view, the facilities underwent four major renovations (in 1992, 1999, 2008, and 2014) with the aim of increasing the accommodation capacity and adapting the rooms to new regulatory and functional requirements.

A highlight in Casa Mia’s history occurred when then-president of the Italian Republic, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, accepted an invitation from former Italian Union president Vincenzo Mazza to attend the opening of part of the facilities in 1998. The president’s presence transformed the low-key event into national news. People across Italy who had never heard about the Adventist Church were introduced to the church and the seventh-day Sabbath.

Casa Mia has been affiliated with the Regional Health Service since 1997. The institution is also a member of the European-based AdventCare Network, which seeks to provide support and expertise to health organizations and services in line with the Adventist health message. According to its stated goal, its aim is “to share God’s love through the example of the ministry of Jesus Christ, by providing physical, mental, social and spiritual healing and well-being.”

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-European Division news site.

Andreas Mazza, Inter-European Division News