The visit of Bishop Essayan, Apostolic Vicar of Beirut of the Latin Catholic Church in Lebanon. He met the Italian network of the project “A Bridge for Lebanon”, which collects medicines and powdered milk. They talked about scholarships for the formation of Lebanese students at the Sophia University Institute.
He had visited Loppiano briefly in 1984. In the meantime, the then 22-year-old Lebanese Conventual Franciscan became bishop and Apostolic Vicar of Beirut of the Latin Catholic Church in Lebanon. On Thursday, March 23, Bishop Cesar Essayan returned to the citadel and spent an entire day there. He had a precise mission. First, an appointment at the Bonfanti Industrial Park where there was a deposit of medicines and powdered milk collected by the project “A Bridge for Lebanon.” It was then shipped to Lebanon before Christmas in the amount of five pallets of medicines and 30 quintals of powdered milk.
“We have been in a serious economic recession for some years now,” Bishop Essayan had reported last year, “so there is a shortage of fuel and electricity, but also of essential medicines and powdered milk for babies. In response to such a situation, Elisabetta Mei, a teacher from Tuscany, started a network between citizens and doctors, pharmacists and drug banks, now extended to almost all over Italy. “It is essential to ensure the continuity of care for people suffering from chronic diseases, from diabetes to various heart diseases, neurological and psychiatric diseases,” Luigi Triggiano, a doctor in Arezzo and national coordinator of the collection, points out.
But there is also a need for more…. For this reason, the bishop was very interested in the formation opportunities offered by the Lionello Industrial Park for students, graduates and young entrepreneurs in the spirit of the Economy of Communion. “In Lebanon, there is a need to create networks among young entrepreneurs and support their efforts, otherwise there is a risk that they will leave the country,” commented Bishop Essayan. And with the young people in his heart, he went to the Theotokos Shrine, where he was expected for the prayer for peace at 12 noon by the 20-year olds of the Youth Project. The young people introduced themselves and then it was his turn. Unusual words: “My name is Caesar and I am concerned with the dignity and human rights of the Lebanese”.
With the youth still in his heart and eyes he visited Sophia University. Vanessa, a compatriot who is a doctoral student in political philosophy, greeted him in Arabic. It was a pleasant surprise. After the presentation of the University Institute by the rector, Professor Argiolas, Bishop Essayan shared his concerns. “Lebanon really needs unity. We are so divided that we do not recognize ourselves anymore in a particular identity. The Pope’s visit was not enough. We are closed and afraid of new initiatives. Widespread corruption and neo-feudalism prevent us from being free. Only a cultural breath different from ours can help us face our situation”. A memorandum of understanding has been signed between Sophia and the Apostolic Vicariate of Beirut to offer, through scholarships, formation opportunities in economics and business management to Lebanese students.
“It was a breath of fresh air, a call to joy to visit the Center yesterday and Loppiano today. Thank you for what you do. Here one feels the presence of God and Mary. Thank you for the communion of goods that you have shown me with your love. On April 1, a 2.5-ton shipment will leave for Beirut, with 12 pallets of essential medicines and medical supplies.