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ben f 03Francesca with Carmen -Pre-novice- and Adriana of the Youth CenterMy name is Francesca and I come from a small town in the province of Cosenza.
I met the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor through the Step by Step program, which I first attended in May 2014.

At the end of last October I came to the Youth Center, and immediately I felt welcomed, and supported. The Sisters at Casetta Nova made me feel as if I was important to others, just because I am me. I didn’t have to earn it and through this immediate love, I discovered God's goodness all over again.

Whereas in the past, my daily life presented more urgent issues which often took precedence over prayer, the regular, set prayer times at Casetta Nova helped me prolong the presence of God throughout the rest of my day. In turn, I was able to maintain a feeling of communion with the people I care about, even though they were far away.

Here I have discovered service to the poor in a different way. In demanding and unpredictable situations, where people can sometimes get a bit angry, I am poor in every sense. Yet I have learned to leave room for God to act, not feeling I can change anything first hand.

ben f 02The front door of the Youth Center My first visit to Casetta Nova coincided with a period of change in my life: I had just completed a three-year degree. I felt a sense of celebration and gratitude which was a visible indication of how fully I felt supported when I was at the Youth Center during at this important time.

After I earned my degree, I had to decide what to pursue: God or my projects? Stop at the door or go a little further in and consolidate the gifts I have received in my first few months spent at the community. I found that behind my desire to keep pursuing my projects, I also had a deep-down, hidden desire for the Word of God.

My time at Casetta Nova is allowing me to let God be a part of my present and my future, without my studies - or anything else - intruding. I have learned that God that does not ask me to cut out any more than I need to – He is a God who seeks everything that is just right for me, taking into consideration my affections and my desires. I am certain that, with His help, I will come to understand what is best for me.

The Youth Center was a gift. It was an investment in my life that allows me to once again see the face of God, which is, after all, nothing to take for granted!.


Francesca C.

ben f 01The Sisters of Casa Sant'Antonio Community - Casetta Nova, with the girls


Published: June 24, 2016