Father Guglielmo was a gift to everyone, especially to the most vulnerable, the needy, the sick, and the marginalized. In the last period of his life, we talked several times with him, especially during his time with his uncle, about what to do with his house and the family home with the land. His desire was to create something useful for the community, especially for the needy and differently-abled. After his passing, remembering his example and the gift he made of his life to us and to everyone he met, we felt a strong desire to continue the culture of giving and solidarity that Father Guglielmo taught us and lived. So, we embraced his wishes.
Immediately after his departure, the Marausa house was made available to the parish for catechism, and it’s beautiful to see that house open and filled with joyful children and teenagers. Later, after a series of meetings, including the first one that seemed so coincidental (but perhaps not), we provided it on loan to a non-profit organization (in cooperation with the parish) to establish the first listening, welcoming, and counseling center in the province for people with autism and their families.
I have visited the center several times and have seen that it is very active and well-attended. It has become a reference point for many families with autistic individuals in the area and even in the province.
But we cannot stop here. In recent years, we have met several families with adult autistic individuals. These are families characterized by extraordinary and special love but also great concern and sometimes despair, especially for those elderly parents who have adult children at home and don’t know who will take care of them after they are gone.
Therefore, we have established a Social Promotion Association called the “Casa della tenerezza padre Guglielmo” (Father Guglielmo’s House of Tenderness) to build a facility to be used as a residential and daytime center for people with intellectual disabilities and autism, as well as a listening center for individuals and families in fragile situations.
Text provided by the family of Father Guglielmo De Filippi.