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mfm 03In recent years, Franciscan Sisters of the Poor have been reflecting on ways to involve more lay people in the journey of the Congregation.

For this reason, we prepared a ‘Charism formation journey’ to promote knowledge of Blessed Frances’ Charism of healing and care -- ways to deepen Franciscan values and to increase their desire to be closer to our family.

We started this journey with some lay people in Pistoia in October/November of 2015. As a result of this experience, we have become so enthusiastic that we wish to continue this journey in the following year.

The result was extraordinary. This year we asked to Egisto Cardarelli, a member of the group who is very keen on the word of God, the Church and Mother Frances, to share his thoughts with us. He introduced his arguments with passion, competence and enthusiasm.

mfm 04“Through the life of St. Francis and Blessed Frances Schervier,” Egisto says, “we are offered an opportunity to deepen values that find a concrete expression in daily life. These Saints, with their charisms, spoke to me, reminding me not to stray from the path God’s Spirit has shown me, and to embody Jesus, to represent him with dignity in the world.

“I meditated on the maturation of men/women and I think this evolution is in direct proportion to their response to suffering; and to learn life’s greatest lesson -- that the suffering can be the source of creativity.
“When I read the words of Mother Frances and St. Francis, I noticed all the signs they left in my heart:  poverty as a gift of myself, communion in the solidarity of others, acts of charity that restores dignity, and the bravery to come out and share the spiritual and material needs of a world that is calling us.
“The words and the experience of these Saints call us to live the Gospel more generously and with authenticity. I am thankful to God and I pray that He will help us integrate Mother Frances’ charism in our daily life.”

mfm 02Reflecting as a Community on the ongoing experience, we highlighted some important aspects of this journey. Many people have beautiful, deep souls. People love, struggle, suffer and hope every day. Staying together, listening to others and sharing experiences help us participate in the question and insights of a great struggle that is both human and spiritual.
Our friend, Immacolata, noted: “Everytime I come back home after the Franciscan meetings, I say to myself that I could be more! The meetings help me to relieve pain in my daily life and to see the many benefits that God gives me. It is fills me with a desire to follow the will of the Father. And through the charisms of St. Francis and Mother Frances Schervier. I feel their love and simplicity, and understand their need to look at the poor through the beauty of creation. Thank you!”
All around us the Charism spreads the  joy that caught our own hearts and filled our lives, too.

 Sr. Maria Francesca Musumeci, SFP

Published: August 10, 2017