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date 07Dialogue of VowsI am Sr. Mara Bellutta and on April 26 2014 I consecrated my life to God in the family of the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor.

In the months leading up to this date, many people asked if I was afraid of dedicating the rest of my life, and later, many others asked me how my life had changed. But walking into Church that day, full of nerves, while I waited for such a special moment, only one thing was clear to me: that what I was doing was not at all complicated. In saying "yes", I was responding, humbly, to the love of God that has always been with me. Having reached this point in my life, it was the most natural thing I could be doing!

Sitting in the pew, while the choir called upon the Holy Spirit, I felt with great clarity that I was in the right date 02Sr. Licia, Sr. Raffaella and Sr. Maraplace, surrounded by the religious family I wanted to live my life with, and many people who in one way or another have touched or shared moments along the way. I did not feel the kind of enthusiasm that made me want to shout out loud, but rather a simple joy, secure, rooted inside of me.

It felt like I was living to the full the words of a Gospel that is very dear to me: "Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap..." (LC 6,38)

I recognized with gratitude and, perhaps even with a bit of surprise, that God has been with me over the years through various people, many of whom date 01The signaturewere there with me that day. My family, the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, Associates, childhood friends, priests and religious friends who accompanied me on my journey, friends from our community, colleagues from work, and members of the religious and civil communities in my town.  The happiness and the festive air of the celebration touched them all.

They shared these words with me and with us, the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, "…with affection and recognition, we support you in your decision. The freedom with which you undertook your journey of preparation and discernment, and the courage of this major decision has shown the entire community and gives witness to each of us, of your daily determination to follow the ideal of making your life full of sense and value. The mayor of our city of Trento is with us, and with his presence, he demonstrates the enormity, for civil society also, of what you have done."

Moreover, everyone was truly happy to welcome the Sisters into their homes, and grateful to have experienced something of the charism of Mother Frances. Here is an excerpt of what a dear friend shared at the end of the celebration "[In] these past days, our town has been "invaded" by your sisters, we have been able to meet them in the town of Povo, and we have learned more about the charism of the Congregation where you have chosen to live and work. We are impressed by how much you focus on the poor, the suffering, the meek. During the prayer vigil, you told us about your work as a nurse and the safe haven your community provides in Padua, of how, in your hands, suffering has become an opportunity for good.”

date 03Fraternal embrace date 08During the celebration date 04Fraternal embrace with the sisters

I thank God for the life I have lived, and I want to continue my journey -- to recognize God in all  that confronts me on my path, attentive and listening to that timid and true voice, that every day tells me ‘it's me.’  

 

date 05The festivities after the Celebration of Vows date 06Sr. Marina, Sr. Raffaella, Sr. Mara and Sr. Licia

 

date 09With the sisters

 

 

Sr. Mara Bellutta, SFP

 

Published: July 10, 2014