The Grand Master at the Italian Summer Camp
The Order of Malta’s eighth Italian Summer Camp, held this year in Modena from 19th to 24th August, has ended. A total of 134 young people aged between 18 and 35 from all over Italy took part in this very special holiday that combines entertainment with helping others. This year there were 43 guests (youths with various disabilities) and 68 helpers (young volunteers), besides the support staff.
The summer camps for the disabled organized every year by the Order’s associations and volunteer corps – in France, Belgium, Hungary, Spain, Germany, Romania, Lebanon, Albania and Ukraine to name but a few – together with the international camps represent one of the most significant annual events in the life of the Order of Malta’s young people.
As is customary, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto visited the camp, meeting the young guests and helpers and encouraging them in their efforts and their commitment. The Grand Master spent the night in the camp and attended the mass celebrated on 21st August in Parma by Msgr. Enrico Solmi, Bishop of Parma, in the Basilica of Santa Maria della Steccata.
Also this year the pace of the camp was intensive with games, workshops, circus performances and a disco evening, together with recreational moments linked to automobiles and engines, such as rides on vintage cars provided by the Club Motori of Modena and the visit to the Ferrari Museum in Maranello. Other, quieter but not for that less enjoyable, activities were the spiritual ones, such as the holy masses and meditations focussed on the theme of the house on the rock, the camp motto (Matthew 7, 24-29). The summer camps seek to be a home for participants, built on the rock of Our Lady of Philermos, protector of the Order of Malta’s camps.
As Gabriella Vivarelli von Lobstein, camp leader this year, said the volunteers never stop living in this home even when they return to their normal life, in fact they bring the serenity and teaching of the camp into their daily routines.
The Italian camp volunteers are already at work organizing the International Summer Camp for the disabled in which some 500 people from all over Europe will meet in Rome in August 2020.