The Malta Independent 26 May 2018, Saturday

Maltese Bishop in Albania appeals for funds for poor families affected by floods

Saturday, 23 January 2016, 11:19 Last update: about 3 years ago

The Auxiliary Bishop of Tirana in Albania, Mgr. George Frendo, has launched an appeal for fund for poor Albanian families left homeless after severe storms in the past few days.

The Bishop wrote about a visit he made to a poor family which was left homeless after the home they lived in was crushed by falling rocks. The house, he said, had been built with his help and that of the Sisters of Mother Therese and his.

“The family has four children, the eldest being 19-years-old. Their house was completely destroyed when part of a mountain collapsed in bad weather last Sunday. The family believes that it was saved from death by Saint Anthony, to whom it is very devout. The incident happened on the feast of the Saint. One of the sons, 17, heard a crashing sound and was quick to wake up his family members. The house was crushed shortly after the family ran out.”

The Bishop said he also visited a village by the Erzen river on Thursday. The river had burst its banks and the flood waters damaged more than 400 homes. “130 of these families lost everything they owned. Their one-storey houses lie under two metres of flood water. The Albanian government cannot help them – it has not even paid out assistance promised after last year’s floods.”

Mgr Frendo said some money was collected in the churches but all the parishes are very poor.

“My biggest satisfaction in this country did not come when I was appointed bishop, when they clapped for me, but when I managed to bring a smile to a poor person’s face.”

The Bishop appealed to the Maltese to be generous and show ‘concrete mercy’ with the people of Albania.

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