MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

May 5, 2013

Social worker shows kindness with deeds

— Kindness and caring come in many languages. Liliana Carbone speaks at least two of them quite well.

The native of Argentina divides her week in three ways.

“Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I work at DHS as a child welfare aide,” said Carbone, who also is the coordinator of religious education at St. Joseph Catholic Church. “The rest of the days I work here in the church office. On Tuesday mornings, I work in Catholic Charities.”

Carbone, 52, came to the United States in 2001 from Rosario, a city of 2 million people in central Argentina.

 “It’s in the middle of the country,” she said. “We don’t have the snow that you do in the winter. It’s hot and humid in the summer, but not as hot as it was here last year.

“The south of the country is like Alaska. It snows and you can see the aurora borealis. It’s the end of the world.”

The Catholic Church played an important part in the Carbone family.

“We lived in a neighborhood with three Catholic churches,” she said. “My grandpa, he was from Italy, and he took me to church every Sunday. He taught me how to pray in Latin when I was very little.”

She said her neighborhood was near a train station, and most of the families worked for the railroad in one way or another.

“Most families had three members from Italy and one from Spain,” she said. “My husband and I have the same roots.”

She said her Italian grandmother made ravioli every Sunday.

When the country’s economy suffered a downturn in 2001, Carbona and her husband left Argentina with their three children.

“My brother-in-law lived here and ran a jewelry store,” she said. “My husband was a carpenter, and all the companies were closing in Argentina.”

Carbone said leaving her homeland was “hard, very hard.”

“It was hardest on my daughter, she was 16 and she was mad with the entire world,” she said.

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