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   fp 30Vermicino Circle    

fp 26Blessings for the new ministry, Lights in the City
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As is the custom each year, the Italian Area, divided into two zones – Assisi and Vermicino -- met for a weekend of Permanent Formation. What resulted were days filled with the joy of meeting together “to talk about our lives” and to reflect on our future.

Sr. Michela Refatto offered us a biblical reflection on the figures of Martha, Mary and Lazarus as they appeared in the Gospel of John. We were asked to consider the two sisters of the New Testament as models of integrated women who announce the Resurrection in different ways, both equally effective.  Service and prayer are two sides of the same coin: two ways of offering our lives to God -- differing strides to be sure, but both lead to the same destination.

This was made visible and concrete by way of the blessings that Sr. Marina, and each of us, offered for the new ministry, Lights in the City. Some of our Sisters and Associates have committed themselves to living the ministry of prayer for both people who are poor and suffering and for the Congregation.
 
Another intense experience during our meeting was the discussion we held on the religious habit. These two days together offered a great opportunity for us to share -- and to expand -- our minds as we consider new ways by which we can demonstrate our choice of consecrated life.  It was a powerful of seeking both freedom and unity.

Sunday morning found us intensely engaged in two workshops, one dedicated to contemplative prayer and the other to creative writing -- two different ways for reworking and sharing our emotions and reflections about what we experienced the previous day. The written word and meditation allowed us to give ‘voice’ to the energy that was circulating around us during our meeting.  

Sr Cinzia La Calce SFP

 

“This Formation Meeting was a wonderful opportunity to “meet again” and “get our bearings”.  
The topic that sr. Michela offered to us sparked several ideas in my head:  I saw myself in Mary who anoints Jesus’ feet and in Martha’s affirmation: “Lord, if You were here, my brother would not be dead.”

The Prayer Workshop helped me to move from Head to Heart. Through contemplative prayer, I once again saw Lazarus, Martha and Mary and their meetings with Jesus – which led me to remember my Meeting with Him, and how it changed the direction of my life.

The afternoon, dedicated to ‘the Habit’ placed me in a position of respectfully listening of diverse opinions. I am grateful that we were able to offer our personal contributions to build our future.”

Sr. Giuliana Vitale SFP

 

“I feel that the days spent in permanent formation were rich with grace and forward momentum.
Sr. Michela’s reflection on the Gospel passage about Martha and Mary surprised me, awaking in me a new understanding of myself.

It doesn’t matter whether I see myself as one or the other of the women.: Both called me back the Charism -- to bring to the world the gift of the Resurrection, to carry this gift as a reconciled and healed woman. I allowed myself to offer my contribution, understanding that I may be a gift for another sister, even in the more sensitive moments of the meeting when we were invited to discern new steps to take.

The creative writing workshop surprised because I was able to fully express what I carry within myself….and here is the result:  1) To allow myself to be open to giving voice, with freedom and courage, to the phases of my life. 2) A Deeper understanding that we cannot turn back. 3)To depart from the present, looking at myself in the mirror, doing some soul searching on a mindful journey to discern where the Lord wants to lead me. 4) And finally,  to enjoy the wisdom of every sister."

Sr. Loredana Giugliano SFP

 

“I arrived at the permanent formation meeting, desiring in my heart, the brief respite it offered.
The meeting with my sisters and the topic presented by sr. Michela Refatto enriched me immensely. I felt as though I was called to life by of Lazarus, reminded that each person has a different experience of Jesus’ presence: each adopts different ways to be with Him, and each is called to walk her own journey.

In fact, it is precisely this diversity that makes evangelical life authentic.  As I consciously experienced my journey, I was able to embrace the journeys of others, and even the journey of all of humankind, where there truly is a place, space and time for the preciousness of each and every person.”

Sr. Francesca Vitulano SFP

“The formation encounter was a precious opportunity to be able to pause, to meet with my sisters and to enter into deeper contact with myself. There is always a “magical” atmosphere of joy and light-heartedness when we come together; experiencing how life continues to grow and mature in new and creative ways, in a style of authentic fellowship and genuine closeness.

Perhaps because I am committed to taking care of my mother in this period of time, I enjoyed this experience in a very special way.  The meeting represented for me a time and a space of tranquility that allowed me to set down, hand over and entrust -- even if only temporarily -- the struggles of these present days, and to allow life of the Congregation, which is blooming,  to be shared and to bloom within me, too.”

Sr. Maria Francesca Musumeci SFP

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Published: March, 31, 2015