On Saturday May 16, 2015, during the Leadership Team meeting, we inaugurated the new Congregational House in Rome. It was an important celebration of this new chapter in the life of our Congregation, founded 170 years ago in Aachen.

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We felt profound communion with all the daughters of Mother Frances who came before us, and with those who today are living the charism on five continents – and with the Associates, collaborators, friends and the brothers and sisters whom we serve. As a concrete sign of this communion, we connected via Skype with communities and associates in the USA, Italy, Brazil, Senegal and the Philippines. Those who could not Skype sent messages and called by phone. A diverse international group of sixty people: SFPs and Associates, brothers and sisters from other religious communities, employees, friends, collaborators and neighbors, joined us in via Calandrelli to attend the ceremony.
We shared a moment of prayer and thanksgiving in our neighbor’s, the Claretian Missionary Sisters, chapel. Sr. Licia welcomed us with these words:

“Today we welcome everyone to the new Congregational House of the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor. I feel truly blessed to be here with you today. Over the decades of our history, many members of our Congregation have witnessed such changes, driven by the same challenge: to find the best path to sustain one another in love, giving our life for the good of the Congregation, and offering dignity and support to the poor. Today it is truly an historic moment, a moment that we hope future generations will remember as an experience of faith guided by the Holy Spirit. This inauguration offers us an opportunity to celebrate our history and welcome and integrate this new "sacred space" into our Congregation. We are grateful that you are with us today and we thank you for your support. We are grateful for the welcome our Community has been given here in Via Calandrelli. With your support, we feel at home! Thank you from the heart for your gift of life and love."

After the prayer, Sr. Licia and the Councilors gave their guests a guided tour of the Congregational offices, then the festivities continued with outdoors with refreshments. Everyone was given a small card to commemorate this new moment in the life of our Congregation. The card bore the words of Mother Frances: "This tree belongs to you, thus care for it always!" May her wish and blessing accompany and protect us.

Sr. Marvi Delrivo, SFP


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Published: June, 18, 2015