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This year our Casetta Nova Community (casa S. Antonio), together with all the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, celebrates the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Youth Center. We decided to celebrate in appreciation for this gift, by organizing a weekend devoted to formation and spirituality for women from 30 to 50 of age in September, in order to continue living out our healing charism.  

The idea of a weekend devoted to this was born in conversation with a group of young women (both Sisters and lay women) who wish to create a space for freedom and sharing in order to go more in depth in a healing relationships, including those within ourselves. A friend of ours who is a psychologist helped us explore our self-knowledge through a re-descovery of our potentials and resources as women. A woman theologian talked about false spiritualisms and the ways to live an authentic spiritual life; a woman art historian presented the world of female stereotypes in art through the study of two women: St. Cecilia and Mary Magdalene. Finally, we presented Healing relationships according to Mother Frances Schervier, as a true and current model for women.   

The various creative workshops we attended, such as biodance, clay, gospel dramatization, creative writing, helped us get in touch with our deepest emotions and feelings, allowing us to have fun and express ourselves lightheartedly. 
Together we listened, reflected, shared, prayed, rejoiced, .... discovered our wisdom. We learned that we can lean on each other, we can empower one another and then go back to everyday life knowing that we are women of wisdom, with deep stories to share, united in a wisdom circle which makes us free and corageous apostles of joy and resurrection.

dotcoleichesa 01Time for sharingcoleichesa 02The younger

Here are some of our experiences:   

coleichesa 03A moment of prayer: a mosaic of faces- I came to “The One who knows” feeling that the Lord wanted me there, certain that I was finally taking some time all to myself. Sunday, during the Liturgy, I looked at all those dancing women before me and said to myself, ‘they are so beautiful.” At that moment, I had an intuition, “You are as beautiful as they.” It was a great gift to be able to allow myself to be like “the One who knows” – to simply live as myself.   

- I saw the clay that let itself be molded by my hands and was taking shape. The shape of a woman. And I am that woman. With a basked on my shoulders filled with all the luminous and painful experiences which made me what I am today. A woman with her arms extended wide, ready to welcome and to let herself go into the re-generating power of life.

- This experience filled me with hope, stemmed from being with other women, even from different generations, ready to take risks and to do it with strength and dignity. It gave a new impulse to my desire to go from complexity to lightness and beauty of my being a woman, in order to let myself be touched by others’ experiences and catch the present moment to live fully and with trust the richness that has been given to me!  

- This was a truly exciting weekend.... and also an enlightening one. A heartfelt thank you to the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor who offered us this opportunity and for their warm hospitality.  

- This was a great experience of wisdom and sharing, a way to try to understand myself through interesting encounters. It was also beautiful from a spiritual perspective; and everything was in a place immersed in nature. A great “Thank you!” to all of you.

coleichesa 04Creative writing workshop led by Sr. Monica Stasi- I really liked the workshop I attended on the dramatization of the gospel. I was struck by how the passage chosen, the anointment at Bethany, told each one of us a deep truth, connected to our life experiences.

- Each time I think back to the time we spent together, I feel in my heart a fully joy, the sense of a dream come true, and the sense of being watched over and lead by the Holy Spirit. I experienced “on earth as it is in heaven” and want to thank all those who gave rise to this way of being together.

- The silence of nature, sharing the room and not just that (the bathroom was also shared and many of us slept all together in large rooms), the simplicity of breakfast and lunch, shared but almost not as important. Everything in myself has acquired new meaning: openness and participation to Relationships. I was struck by your energy and your smiles, which for me are “gifts that keep on giving” sustaining me in the most difficult moments in my daily life.

- It was amazing to share with other women insights, needs, expectations, and to discover that in each one of you there was the need to deepen our self-knowledge. Hearing you talk about taking care of our lives made me reflect on how precious is this gift that the Lord gave us which I also very often neglect, especially when I am taken by my daily challenges.   

Thank you ALL, those who organized the weekend and those who, like me, were simple participants.


coleichesa 05The group of participants


Published: December 23, 2013