Churches in Palermo have emptied out pews to make space for clean cots and community members are pitching in to cook meals and donate goods. Volunteers from the Catholic charity Caritas greet migrant boats at the port with food, clothes, doctors and even psychologists.
“We’ve substituted the altar with beds,” said the Rev. Rosario Francolino, who has been co-ordinating the reception of 700 Africans at a Palermo church since Sunday. “I think it’s the most beautiful Mass the community could celebrate.”