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NEWS FROM THE CANOSSIAN WORLD N. 4 DECEMBER 2013 Sped. Abb. postale D.L. 353/2003 (conv. in L. 27/02/2004 n. 46) art. 1, comma 2, DCB/CN - Filiale di Cuneo


Summary V IT I TA PIU` A SISTERLY NOTE

“...Peace to people of good will!”

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POINTS TO REFLECT ON

Prayer as God’s gift

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PAGES OF LIFE

VITAPIÙ N. 4 – DECEMBER 2013 Autorizzazione Trib. di Roma N. 52/87 del 6 Febbraio 1987 Sped. Abb. postale – D.L. 353/2003 (conv. in L. 27/02/2004 n. 46) art. 1, comma 2, DCB/CN Filiale di Cuneo. PRINTER: Agam srl, via R. Gandolfo, 8 12100 Madonna dell’Olmo (CN) – ITALY tel. +39.0171.411.470 – fax +39.0171.411.714 PUBLISHER: Casa Gen. Canossiane MANAGER: Enrico M. Beraudo EDITORIAL STAFF: Elizabeth Chambers Eileen Curtis – Giovanna Rastelli FRONT COVER: The Book of Kells

Pilgrimage to Aparecida

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WYD in Rio de Janeiro

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I am one of the Pope’s youngsters

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“Called to be joyful and prophetic witnesses”

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Lead and manage like Jesus

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A summer painted with the “Colours of the sea”

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Untiring volunteers

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From the Wellsprings...

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Canossian Ecological Pilgrimage in the Year of Faith

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Final profession for Canossian Sister

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Do you remember...?

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My first ‘yes’

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CANOSSIAN FOUNDATION

“Nothing can be done in just one trip”

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INFORMATION FOR THE READERS Your address is part of the electronic records of our magazine VITAPIÙ. In keeping with the law 675/1996 concerning the protection of personal data, called “privacy”, we communicate that such records are used exclusively by our Canossian Congregation, publisher of the above said periodical. Your data, therefore, will not be communicated to others in any way.


Mary, woman of bread «And she laid him in a manger.» In a few verses the word «manger» is repeated three times. This detail, considering the style of Luke, greatly arouses our suspicion. The Evangelist alludes; there is no doubt. As a painter, he wants to portray Mary in the attitude of one who fills the empty bread basket. If it is true that one puts animal food in a manger, it is not difficult to interpret that action as the desire to present Jesus, from the very first instant, as food for the world, or better still, as bread for the world. Thus, beneath, straw for the animals. On the straw, grain ground and cooked for humanity. In the manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes as in a snow-white tablecloth, the living bread descended from heaven. Beside the manger, as if before a tabernacle, the baker of that bread. Mary had understood well her role from the moment she was led by Providence to give birth so far away from her home, there in Bethlehem, which means ‘house of bread’. For this reason, on the night they were refused, she used the manger as a basket for a meal. Almost as if to anticipate, by this prophetic gesture, the invitation that Jesus, on the night of his betrayal, would have addressed to the whole world: «Take and eat all of you: this is my body given up for you.» Tonino Bello


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M. Margaret Peter

“...Peace to people of good will!” (Lk 2:14)

Dear Sisters and friends,

A SISTERLY NOTE

This is the joyful message of the Angels which, from the first Christmas eve until today, echoes through the heavens and all over the earth to announce the birth of Jesus, Son of God and our Brother in his humanity. It is a message of peace for every person of good will. It is consoling for us to remember that this message was addressed to the poor, to all of us, and we know that God loves us gratuitously and invites us to be open to his love. It is precisely this openness to Love itself that continues to make us “good people”. We know, in fact, that we are loved and as a consequence, we accept this love. This on-going discovery and acceptance of Love makes us “people of good will”, binding us to assume a style of life in accord with God’s gratuitous love. God’s peace – “...Christ, in fact, is our peace” (Eph 2:13-14). He is the path of peace. Living in Him and like Him peace takes on a tangible form. Hence, the attention to making space for the person of Jesus in our lives; taking on Christ’s identity and action knowing that in this way we also take on the price this gift of peace entails. “Therefore, without a doubt, the bright flame of peace will pursue its path, bringing joy and pouring light and grace into the hearts of men and women who inhabit the earth, making them discover, beyond every frontier, their brothers, sisters and friends.” (Pope John XXIII) People of good will – are ready in their hearts to recognise God at work in themselves, in others, in creation... ready to collaborate in making the world better. They acknowledge His presence in the Child who is given to us at Christmas, in the shepherds, in the poor, the least and in creation. People of good will – are those who see in God the anchor of salvation, that certainty which they have always sought after and found with difficulty. But they are also those who do not stop at appearances, who go beyond every human judgement, do not use a common measure but rather try to understand their brothers and sisters who are confronted by life’s obstacles.

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People of good will – are also those who have a different concept of peace to that commonly held, an idea that comes from the awareness of being instruments of a new Kingdom, of a way of life that does not know barriers or prejudices, but which is based on belonging to God’s Family. So, who are these people? It would be useful to read again Lk 10:21: «Filled with joy by the Holy Spirit, Jesus said, ‘I bless you, Father, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for this is pleasing to you.’» God’s predilection is for little ones and this is proved when He addresses the shepherds, the first witnesses of God’s glory, who are precisely poor, insignificant people. This is the beginning of that preference for the poor and simple that Jesus will fully show later in his ministry. They are those who even unconsciously imitate God’s action: benevolent to all.

I wish each one of you Joy and Hope at Christmas and a Grace-filled New Year!

Sr. Margaret Peter, Congregational Leader

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POINTS TO REFLECT ON

Prayer as God’s gift

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rayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.” (St. John Damascene) But when we pray, do we speak from the height of our pride and will, or “out of the depths” of a humble and contrite heart? He who humbles himself will be exalted; humility is the foundation of prayer, only when we humbly acknowledge that “we do not know how to pray as we ought,” are we ready to receive freely the gift of prayer.”Man is a beggar before God.” (St. Augustine) “If you knew the gift of God!” (Jn 4:10) The wonder of prayer is revealed beside the well where we come seeking water: there, Christ comes to meet every human being. It is he who first seeks us and asks us for a drink. Jesus thirsts; his asking arises from the depths of God’s desire for us. Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him. The Son of God who became Son of the Virgin learned to pray in his human heart. He learns to pray from his mother, who kept all the “great things” the Almighty had done and treasured them in her heart. He learns to pray in the words and rhythms of the prayer of his

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people, in the synagogue at Nazareth and the Temple at Jerusalem. But his prayer springs from an otherwise secret source, as he intimates at the age of twelve: “I must be in my Father’s house.” (Lk 2:49) Here the newness of prayer in the fullness of time begins to be revealed: his filial prayer, which the Father awaits from his children, is finally going to be lived out by the only Son in his humanity, with and for men. “He was praying in a certain place and when he had ceased, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.”’ (Lk 11:1) Is it not in seeing the Master at prayer, that the disciple of Christ also wants to pray? By contemplating and hearing the Son, the Master of prayer, the children learn to pray to the Father. On the day of Pentecost, the Spirit of the Promise was poured out on the disciples, gathered “together in one place.” (Acts 2:1) While awaiting the Spirit, “all these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer.” (Acts 1:14) The Spirit who teaches the Church and recalls for her everything that Jesus said, was also to form her in the life of prayer. The vocabulary of supplication in the New Testament is rich in shades of


POINTS TO REFLECT ON

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of the Church, Christian intercession participates in Christ’s, as an expression of the communion of saints. In intercession, he who prays looks “not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others,” (Ph 2:4), even to the point of praying for those who do him harm.

meaning: ask, beseech, plead, invoke, entreat, cry out, even “struggle in prayer.” Its most usual form, because the most spontaneous, is petition: by prayer of petition we express awareness of our relationship with God. We are creatures who are not our own beginning, not the masters of adversity, not our own last end. We are sinners who as Christians know that we have turned away from our Father. Our petition is already a turning back to him. Intercession is a prayer of petition which leads us to pray as Jesus did… Intercession, asking on behalf of another, has been characteristic of a heart attuned to God’s mercy. In the age

Thanksgiving characterizes the prayer of the Church which, in celebrating the Eucharist, reveals and becomes more fully what she is. Indeed, in the work of salvation, Christ sets creation free from sin and death to consecrate it anew and make it return to the Father, for his glory. The thanksgiving of the members of the Body participates in that of their Head. As in the prayer of petition, every event and need can become an offering of thanksgiving. Praise is the form of prayer which recognizes most immediately that God is God. It lauds God for his own sake and gives him glory, quite beyond what he does, but simply because HE IS. It shares in the blessed happiness of the pure of heart who love God in faith before seeing him in glory. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2559-2639

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Pilgrimage to Aparecida

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small group of lay people and Sisters set out eagerly to take part in Pope Francis’ first Mass here in Brazil and precisely in the shrine of Nossa Senhora Aparecida. Our journey was enlivened by sentiments of fraternity and faith. We arrived there about 12 hours early and thus began a great adventure for the whole group. Only 15,000 people could enter the Basilica, so all of us with our backpacks got into line... The weather was inclement (8°C, even if it felt colder) and our feet and hands were freezing, but solidarity came to the rescue. Blankets were shared, hot water to make an improvised “cafezinho”, a piece of plastic sheeting to make a tent; we really felt we were pilgrims and wayfarers. Thousands of people formed lines a few kilometres long. The clock of the Basilica punctuated the long hours while anxiously waiting for Pope Francis. At 5 o’clock in the 8

morning they started distributing identity bracelets so as to enter the Basilica. Around 7 o’clock heavy rain seemed to want to make us give up, but no, we were determined to stick it out because Pope Francis was sure to arrive. But who turned up, but a swarm of soldiers and military forces to protect the Pope from an advancing crowd of thousands of people who wanted to get into the Basilica at any cost. How much waiting, but we still felt that soon we would have been rewarded and so we got close to the entrance door, received our identity bracelet and “yippee”! Just another little effort and we passed through the metal detector and around 10.50 we got to our seats in the Basilica. Everything was now ready; there were 250,000 people waiting for Pope Francis inside and outside the Basilica. What a wonderful atmosphere! Mass began and our hearts

began to warm up. The Pope’s simplicity and human warmth made us be even more attentive and willing to listen. As usual, he proposed three points for reflection: • Firm in hope • Allow ourselves to be surprised by God • Live in high spirits. At the end of Mass some of us were able to see him close up and we were sucked into the wave of emotion, joy and so many feelings. Sunday 24th July 2013 will remain forever present in our journey of faith. Many are the lessons for life that will remain impressed within us: solidarity, sharing, readiness for God’s plan, trust, persistence, flexibility, peace, joyfulness, resistance, tolerance, achieving one’s aim and many others... Nossa Sehnora Aparecida protected and blessed us. The Sisters and lay people of Araras, Brazil


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WYD in Rio de Janeiro

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aking part in the World Youth Day was, for me, a very great grace indeed, an unforgettable experience. Everything helped me to be able to reach this day: preparation, the study of the YouCat (Youth Catechism), the missionary week, the Eucharist for sending out Pilgrims from the Parish community where I work, culminating in our meeting with Pope Francis, as well as a personal encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist and with young people of other cultures. In Rio de Janeiro we were welcomed and given hospitality in families, we felt like Jesus in the house of Martha and Mary. We took part, with devotion, in every celebration in the presence of the Pope. The reflection that struck me most and made me think was that of Friday after the Way of the Cross: “What have you left on the Cross, my dear young people, during these two

Enthusiastic youngs

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years that it has been crisscrossing your great country? The Cross of Christ teaches us always to look upon others with mercy and tenderness, especially those who suffer, who are in need of help, who need a word or a concrete action. Dear friends, the cross of Christ teaches us to be like Simon of Cyrene, who helped Jesus to carry that heavy wood, or like Mary and the other women, who were not afraid to accompany Jesus all the way to the end, with love and tenderness.” After having made such an

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experience it is impossible to remain immobile, inert, complacent; we must bear witness with joyfulness to this Great Love which leaves deep signs and exhorts us: “Go out and make disciples of all nations…”. Sr. Marciana Rodrigues Feitosa, Joinville, Brasile

These volunteers were so precious.

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I am one of the Pope’s youngsters

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hinking of these words, highly proclaimed by all young people, I would like to share with you my first experience of taking part in World Youth Day, the most impressive so far… From the moment of its announcement in Madrid, I started to prepare my heart. I prepared myself to take part in it and to be near Pope Benedict, but with great surprise and enthusiasm I welcomed Francis and my joy was so great that I could not contain it. At last July arrived and everything began to be a race against time. The Canossian Family decided to programme our participation in the Vocations Exhibition which was to be celebrated contemporaneously with the Day of Rio in Quinta da Boa Vista. There were five of us: Sr. Lucia, Sr. Maria Antonia, Fr. Octavio, Br. Daniel and myself; a fraternal young and amiable team. During the day we stayed 10

The arrival of Pope Francis.

at the Exhibition meeting thousands of youngsters who passed by our stand, mainly attracted by the photo of Bakhita. So many people of different nationalities passed by, from the east and the west, different ethnic groups, languages and expressions but in their hearts the same great desire to be young people, young with the Pope. An atmosphere of high spirits was general, wherever one turned there was a sense of peace and happiness. The wind and rain, even if uninvited, were there but unable to dampen our high spirits.

The queues waiting for the tube or bus were unending, but the youngsters were there, singing, dancing, happy simply to be there. There were so many nationalities and languages but at the same time I felt in my heart the experience Peter must have made: “all of us heard them speaking in our own language”. In fact, this happened throughout the whole of the WYD. I was astonished and marveled at how everyone communicated and understood each other. It was like the witnessing of the first Christian


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communities: “…everyone shared what they had with great heartedness and placed their possessions in common…”. But the best was still to come; the chance to see the Pope, the Vicar of Christ, close up. My heart longed for that moment; I thought to myself: “just one single glance would make me happy”. At last the great day came and I almost felt paralysed and captivated by the peace that he infused. His simplicity and humility allowed me to see beyond, not simply Christ’s representative but Christ Himself who walked in the midst of his people. His words were like a sharp sword that penetrated to the depths of my heart and, most certainly, the hearts of all those present. In his first address he said: “Have faith, have love, and how can you do this? Only Jesus can be your example.” Still today his words echo in my heart, his high spirits, his firmness.

Everything was a grace from God: the rain that flooded our stand, our tiredness, the hours queuing up, the 9 km we walked, but a heart so impassioned for the Lord can live through even more. We are the Pope’s young people, we are Christ’s young people who want to be seen, who want to have space in the Church, who want to make a difference in the world and who carry in their hearts the hope of better times. I have the feeling that I could write a book about all I saw and felt during that great Day, but I can say, with absolute certainty, that this experience has strengthened my religious vocation. Now, in my daily life I am thinking over all that I heard and felt and this becomes a reason for change, transformation, of letting go of the old man to put on the new. The one who

wants to be with the Lord cannot always remain the same. The path is always the same but the way of walking can change. And now… with great joy, I am beginning to prepare myself for the next WYD with hope as I sing: we are the youngsters of the Pope, of the Church, of Christ. Sr. Natalia Cristina Medeiros, Imperatriz, Brazil

Pope Francis with the President of Br azil, Dilma Rousseff.

Submerged by the

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“Called to be joyful and prophetic witnesses”

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ach one of us is called to be a prophet. A prophet is a person who experiences God’s love, is sent by God and is filled by the Divine Word. He/ she is invited by God to proclaim His Word. What is important is that he/she listens to the Word of God and puts it into practice. “Called to be joyful and prophetic witnesses” was the theme that was deepened during the Annual Retreat of the Sisters of the Province “Divine Mercy” in Indonesia. In this retreat twelve Sisters took part who had come from the communities in the Java Region. It was held in our Spirituality Centre in Bintaro, from 23rd to 29th June 2013. This time our Annual Retreat was guided by Fr. Yohanes Abdi Pranata, SJ. Of course, the method was Ignatian: one talk and four hours meditation/prayer every day. According to Fr. Abdi, being a prophet is an everyday life experience. The task of a prophet is to pass on God’s messages to humanity. This means we have to start with our own Sisters in the community. A prophet is a messenger of joy and redemption, therefore, we were invited to understand and to live this call to be a prophet. It is simple to understand and to experience to the full a prophetic call, however, when facing the fact, it becomes a challenge itself. Therefore, during this Retreat the Sisters were directed and 12

Witnesses of joy.

helped to discover God’s many graces through the reflections on some passages of the Gospel. On the first day, the Sisters were invited to understand better the meaning of the word “prophet” and what the role of a prophet was in the Old Testament. Through the reflection on Luke 8:1921, which relates the episode of what happened when Jesus’ mother and brothers came looking for him, the Sisters understood how to be a prophet by considering this experience of Jesus in depth. During the second day, the Sisters were encouraged to experience “joy” to the full, because a joyful attitude helps to deepen our relationship with God. In the episode of Zaccheus we were able to understand that genuine joy only comes from a real encounter with Jesus that reveals self to self and liberates the joy of being forgiven and the desire to make restitution.


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The third day of the Exercises offered us the possibility of being with our Foundress, St. Magdalene of Canossa, and asking, through her intercession, for the grace of repentance, because a prophet must be diligent in self-renewal through the Divine Word. With this intention the Sisters were invited to learn from Jesus and John the Baptist to be afraid only of God. The fourth day presented the Sisters with the opportunity, with the help of Saint Magdalene, to ask God for the grace to live as faithful prophets, just as Jesus did. On the fifth day, we asked God for the grace to be able to live as prophets who have a joyful heart in every sorrowful and difficult situation.

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The final day of the Exercises encouraged us to ask the Lord for the grace to live as prophets who are always filled with joy and to make an experience similar to that of Jesus. The annual Retreat ended with a solemn Eucharistic Celebration. During this celebration the Sisters renewed their personal consecration to God and offered symbolically the virtues that they had received during the retreat and which each Sister wished to strengthen in her daily life. Sr. Fransiska Nufa, Divine Mercy Province – Indonesia

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Lead and manage like Jesus Towards a Spiritually Formative Governance

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or three consecutive years a group of Sisters in the Province of Queen of Apostles have been frequenting a Leadership Formation programme, thanks to Greg and Ivy Barcelon, a couple from Canada who helped us understand better what it means to be a Christian Leader. They invited us to look at leadership from another perspective, instead of the usual Creative Leadership, Purpose Driven Leadership, Charismatic Leadership, New-age Leadership, etc. Spiritual Formative Governance is about the Primacy of Grace – being intimately conformed to the Spirit as we become more like Christ. We are called to be and we want to be Spiritual Leaders, but how do we give a spiritual formation to everything we manage? The cross is the first letter in God’s alphabet, so said Pope John Paul I. As Christian Leaders we cannot lead unless we are ready to follow Christ Himself. “If any one wants to be a follower of mine, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.” (Mk 8:34) The programme was conducted on three levels of development: Leadership and Management of SELF, Leadership and Management of OTHERS, Leadership and Management of MISSION. First level emphasis was on personal effectiveness, a call to “look and do likewise”. The first essential in Jesus’ life was being connected to the Source, ABBA. Jesus’ total being was fully charged with the Divine. “Jesus’ teaching is not a product of human learning, of whatever kind’’, says Pope Benedict XVI. “It originates from immediate contact with the Father, from face to face dialogue, from the vision of the one who rests close to the Father’s heart.’’ (Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, p. 7) 142 12

The second essential in Jesus’ life was to be totally poured out in the Mission, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me… to bring the good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives…” (Lk 4:16-20). The call to lead and manage like Jesus, the revered Sage, challenges us to be committed to piety and to be Christ-like, to be a source of wisdom and knowledge, to provide spiritual guidance and nourishment, to instil serenity and peace, to exhibit broadness of mind, to integrate spirituality into all activities. Being a sage requires the ability to go up and down the ladder of obstruction that is, to see a situation from the highest vantage point of view, then go down to attend to relevant details and respond according to God’s plan of salvation for all. We cannot give what we do not have and so our first commitment is a call to Holiness – “our own sanctification” (UR p. 19). Our calling is not about being happy but being holy, acting with Love and having the Peace of Christ. All that is asked of us is to be faithful. Thus holiness is about beingon the same ‘vibrating warelength’ with God. Leading and Managing like Jesus Christ, the Suffering Servant, challenges us to total submission and dependence on the Holy Spirit, willingness to suffer for the good of others, being available to everyone at anytime, serving with unmistakable humility giving all we have. It requires being detached from material possessions, able to feel for and carry the burdens of others, acting with universal gentleness in relating to others and a readiness always to respond to their needs. Leading and Managing like Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is seen in a Leader who gathers his flock and creates and maintains community


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work, communicating and engaging, coaching life. He cares for each member especially the lost one, gets to know every member personally, and counselling. These useful skills are the key factors for managing and leading people in a allows members to know him at a personal spiritual formative way. level and provides growth and challenges The Third Level emphasis was on leading by bringing members to fresh waters. He and managing the Mission. When we become instils a sense of stability and security for holy – through love, in communion with the members, acts as a source of guidance and Trinity – we will not be able to stop ourselves empowerment, sponsors and champions the from proclaiming it to the world with passion. cause of members and is willing to fill in what Emphasis was put on the way we carry out the might be lacking in members and disciplines Mission entrusted to us. We are challenged members successfully. “Whereas western by the TRUTH of human life, the call TO BE, society applauds the independent person, the TO DO and TO HAVE. The Myth preached by one who can attain self-actualization alone, society is “BE HAPPY, DO THINGS, HAVE the self-assured individualist, the Gospel MONEY.” Our calling goes requires persons who, like beyond that. It is not about the grain of wheat, know being happy but BEING how to die to themselves HOLY, DOING WITH so that fraternal life may LOVE, HAVING THE be born.” (VFC 25) PEACE OF CHRIST. Such Leading and Managing is our call to HOLINESS. like Jesus, the Faithful We are grateful to God Steward, is seen clearly for allowing us to make when one makes the this experience. We thank Father’s Will one’s top the Provincial Council priority, effectively for having thought of us, manages resources the so called “Leadership (money, etc.), is open to Group work. Group”, and for giving us accountability, is diligent in such an enriching experience. Thanks to the living one’s vocation, decreases self and exalts group for the journey made, the bond created the Master, shows total obedience to superiors, and the good will and love for the Province felt champions the protection, conservation in so many different ways. Above all, thanks to and care of God’s Creation, is faithful in our benefactors, friends and companions on the contributing positively to the sanctification journey who met us on the road to Emmaus of society and has a strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. The – Greg and Ivy Barcelon for facilitating these steward takes responsibility but makes no claim seminars for us, not only for their generosity in meeting the expense of their trips from Canada to possession of what has been entrusted to to Tanzania for three years, but mainly for the him. “While we live, we are responsible to the Lord, and when we die, we die as his servants.” expression of their Christian call. They have inspired us with the example of their lives. (cf. Rm 14:7-9). They accompanied us through the process that The Second Level emphasis was on leading brought change to our lives and challenged us and managing others, based on Group to become joyful and prophetic witnesses. Effectiveness. We were equipped with different skills in influencing and negotiating, problem The Sister Participants solving and decision making, motivating team Queen of Apostles Province – North Eastern Africa 15


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A summer painted with the “Colours of the sea”

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ere we are! We played, we laughed and joked, we also stopped to think and understand. We were very noisy (we hope not too much!), we sang, we gave colour to our various groups which were formed according to age. We went down to the beach! We organised teams, made posters, took photos, painted works of art and made ornaments with recycled material from the sea bed. We cried over our grazed knees, we rejoiced for a game won. In short ... we experienced a summer painted with the “Colours of the sea”! This Summer Course of artistic skills was organised by the Canossian Sisters together with the teachers of the Nursery school, the Primary school and Parents’ Committee; a real synergy, we dare to say, that turned out to be worthwhile and to repeat in the future. It lasted four weeks, a longer period was impossible because of our many commitments and duties that could not be completely neglected during the summer.

The holiday house

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So it was better to concentrate on quality rather than quantity. But can we say that at the Canossian Institute of Porto San Giorgio it was a quality-filled summer? This is not for us to say. We can give a few figures: there were 150 children from the Nursery and Primary schools, 20 helpers comprising Sisters, animators, parent volunteers, teachers and experts in artistic disciplines. For 5 days a week, the mornings were dedicated to learning about sea life and the afternoons to organised games with an expert. But there was one rule: amusement and fun alone was not enough! A summer holiday spent with the Canossian Sisters cannot be an amusement park. This is not what parents are seeking, this is not what children are asking for, this is not our duty. Amusement and play are primary aspects but they are not exclusive. There must be time dedicated to thinking and learning, and praying too, since this Summer Course is, and wants to remain, an experience

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The precious help

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connected to growth and maturation. A time to think of what? We could have chosen a thousand different topics. In the end we decided on “The Colours of the Sea”. Exploring the sea bed with its diversity of fish and colours can help the children understand that tomorrow’s world belongs to them and the world that awaits them consists, necessarily, of measuring self with many differences. It would have been too easy to eliminate the question with the phrase “we are all equal” because this is simply not true; “we are all different”, we explained to the children. Rather, “fortunately, we are all different”. Diversity is a resource, it is precious if it is accompanied by mutual respect, understanding and help. A black-and-white world would be banal and monotonous. We do not want our children to be like this. It is much better that they should be diverse in their uniqueness and precious singularity. Obviously there is no one single language to transmit this concept to children between the ages of 3 and 13. The smaller children will have understood little, we hope that the older children will have been able to deepen this during the time dedicated to them. Their handicrafts demonstrate what they have

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understood. In fact, each one is unique and reflects the individual. We are sorry if sometimes we were not able to use the right words, if we were not always ideal educators to whom every mum and dad would want to entrust their sons and daughters. The only thing that we could never be accused of is that of not having worked with all our hearts. The summer course has been for us a series of continual, intense emotions which, partially, lightened the difficulty of carrying out the activities and the weight of responsibility. Certain looks, smiles, contacts, even certain silences, were efficacious and remain indelible. Our hope is that this summer course may have given so much even to them – the children who were the main characters. In a few years, how much will they remember of this experience and know how to put it into practice in their lives? It is hard to tell and perhaps it is not so important. We have sown the seed and now we need patience. If God so wishes, at the right time that seed will bear fruit: a new generation that will build a better world based on cooperation, solidarity and hope. The Sisters of Porto San Giorgio, Italy 17


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Untiring volunteers

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hen we think of a missionary we usually imagine a person full of extraordinary courage, who has made a radical choice in life that, for many people, is inconceivable. A situation that is really so distant from ours. Perhaps you will be surprised instead to know that everyone can be a missionary! Ask a great number of young people who, in the last ten years, have spent a period of their lives in a mission land. These people are volunteers of Vo.I.Ca. Onlus (Canossian International Voluntary Service Onlus), an Association set up by the Institute of the Canossian Daughters of Charity when they recognised the need to open the reality of mission to lay people, especially young people. Since then hundreds of youngsters, boys and girls, have dedicated a period of their lives to the mission, some for brief stays of 2-4 weeks, others for a period of up to 3 years. They are actively involved in development projects in one of the developing countries. At present, there are dozens of enthusiastic youngsters involved in Vo.I.Ca. projects, under the supervision of the Board of Directors, 18

The volunteers who offered their service in Uganda.

constituted by Sisters and some of the volunteers themselves. They offer their service in the missions where the Canossian Sisters are present and collaborate in specific initiatives in the areas of health care, education, construction work, maintenance of agricultural equipment and many other activities. I myself went for the second time to our mission in Lomé, Togo, during the month of August. There we have a Medical Social Centre dedicated to St. Josephine Bakhita which is the pride of our Association since it was planned, built and maintained completely by the Association. Vo.I.Ca. is also present in

Democratic Republic of Congo with two projects: one concerning health care and the other social assistance and education. We have social and educational projects too in Uganda, São Tomé and Brazil. Why did I choose to become a part of this Association and not one of the thousands that exist? First of all, because the Lord made me come into contact with Vo.I.Ca. Onlus along my life journey and this, in itself, is a good reason. But there is another reason: the Association of Vo.I.Ca. was able to respond to that desire to do Good which I felt in the depths of my heart and it was able to help me respond in a way that corresponded to my particular


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sensibility. Vo.I.Ca. Onlus is a simple organisation in which volunteers are first of all friends before being missionaries. Sharing with one another is a normal thing for us, before being able to share with the poor of the world. It is real love and mutual esteem that give me the assurance of being able to count on the full support of my friends. Finally, the most important thing that I have learned over the last few years of voluntary service with Vo.I.Ca. Onlus is that formation, first human and then spiritual, mental openness, becoming aware of how the world functions, are aspects which are just as important as building, promoting and realising something. It is not necessary to go and live in Africa to be a missionary; it is necessary to be so with one’s heart in ordinary life wherever we are. Finally, Vo.I.Ca. Onlus has almost become my second family, the place in which I find my friends, the example of a Church and a certain Humanity which is alive, real, simple, genuine, concrete and young at heart that the world needs so much and which knows how to enrich

the lives of those, like me, like you, who wish “to give much more”. N.B. If your curiosity is aroused, visit us on this website www.voica.org or write to this email address volontari@voica.org. Stefano Carrero, Pontevico (BS)

Being a VO.I.CA. volunteer Being a Vo.I.Ca. volunteer today is much more “demanding” than a few years ago. Firstly, because most volunteers were looking for an Association only so as to “boast” of going to Africa or Brazil, but today they choose Vo.I.Ca. for three reasons which we consider to be essential to the Canossian Charism: serious and precise formation, the exclusive choice of the poor and, certainly not last in importance, becoming part of a family, a community that does not live and work only

A group activity with children in Togo.

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From the Wellsprings...

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oming Together with Joy. Sisters from the Divine Mercy Province, Indonesia, gathered together for a two-day Provincial Animation session on the theme of the XVI General Chapter: “Inspice et Fac”... that the world may believe, called to be prophetic and joyful witnesses. Fr. Adriano Carrazzolo, Canossian Father, (Leader of the Canossian Fathers’ Pioneer Community in East Timor) shared his insights, experiences and prayers during this meaningful animation. This initiative was an important part of the Preparation of the Province for its First Provincial Chapter, 7th-15th October 2013. The Nusa Tenggara Timor Region (NTT of East Indonesia) first held their animation last 8th-9th August 2013 in Tofa Community, Kupang. The Sisters from the Java Region (central region of Indonesia), together with 12 novices, gathered together last 11th-12th August in the Canossa Retreat House in Bintaro, Jakarta. Sisters were given time for personal reflection and group sharing, culminating each day with the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours and the Eucharist. Looking Back with Gratitude and Awe. The first day of the seminar deepened the Sisters’ understanding and appreciation of St. Magdalene’s charismatic insight: Inspice et Fac Secundum Exemplar. Fr. Adriano helped the Sisters to re-discover the beauty in the inner journey of St. Magdalene, how her “looking” into the heart of Jesus Crucified captured her being and moved her to spread the fire of 20

charity to the poor. The Sisters understood that ‘being connected’ with the Source, the wellsprings of water, is the only sure foundation of each and every Canossian. It is the fount of strength and direction, the origin of all meaning and serves as a beacon during times of difficulty. In recalling their early experiences of God’s Love in their families, neighbourhood, schools and the local church, the Sisters recognized that God has manifested His Love unceasingly and nourished the seeds of their vocation. Fr. Adriano frequently stressed the necessity of “returning to the source” because humanity often fails to remember this, especially when difficulties and crosses arise. He also encouraged the Sisters, during their acts of recalling and reflecting, to constantly write what inspired and moved them, because this would deepen their experience of God’s Love. Each one would also have something in writing to look back on. Fr. Adriano challenged the Sisters to share more their Good News of being loved and cherished by God and others, contrary to the world’s ways of competition, gossip, egoism and individualism. Imitating the Virtues of Jesus Crucified. The second day centred on becoming witnesses of Jesus Crucified, that is living His Virtues of gentleness, humility, zeal, fortitude and generosity. Episodes and anecdotes from the life of St. Josephine Bakhita, Gandhi, Washington, Bl. Mother Teresa, Bl. John Paul II, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis


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PIU inspired and Integrating enlightened with the the Sisters. first day’s St. Paul’s reflections, it Letter to the is essential to Galatians ‘waste’ time Fr. Adriano (Canossian Father) and the Sisters of the Divine Mercy Province. (5:16-25) with Jesus anticipated the morning reflection: “Be because inner joy and strength come from guided by the Spirit, and you will no the security of having Jesus at one’s side, in longer yield to self-indulgence... all who one’s heart and mind. The challenges of the belong to Christ Jesus have crucified world demand much so it is important to self with all its passions and its desires. be rooted in the love of Christ. The path of Since we are living by the Spirit, let our a Canossian must pass through the Cross behaviour be guided by the Spirit.” and ironically, the inner joy that comes Fr. Adriano stressed that the Canossian from this experience is a joy that nobody vocation is not becoming merely good can take away from you. (cf. John 16:22) persons, but it is about being like Jesus Fr. Adriano ended his session by showing Crucified. To become witnesses today photos of St. Magdalene, St. Bakhita, M. means always bringing a smile to everyone, Celeste De Carvalho, M. Erminia Cazzaniga allowing the inner joy of being loved by and M. Carla Manzoni. He reminded the God shine out in one’s life. He reiterated Sisters of the greatness of these Canossians that greatness lies in simple things, who, over the years, have left a precious strength comes from meekness, and new heritage to the Institute and the Church by life from dying to oneself. Sharing his glorifying God and serving the poor. Using personal experiences with the poor, Fr. the words from the life of M. Luigia Grassi, Adriano posed challenging questions to the he challenged us – now, it is YOUR turn! Sisters: Have you learned generosity from This young Province is like a shoot that the poor? Is the treasure in your heart now gradually grows and is moulded into the making you happy? Do you feel eagerness likeness of Jesus Christ. Each member to do good and spread the Good News to strives to better understand the importance everyone? of ‘looking’ so that every desire and Joyfulness, as a trait of being prophets action becomes ‘a spring that flows from today, was explained as being Easter people the Source’ and an occasion to imitate and not those following a funeral service, the humble Servant. The Divine Mercy as Pope Francis once said in a homily. Province is indeed young in its journey and As Canossians, our call asks us to choose the age of its members, but their hearts are what Jesus chose: the poor, the last, the sincere in proclaiming – yes, it is our turn. least and the weak. This means refusing May the God of mercy intercede for us! and letting go of what the world exalts: Sr. Vanda Luvita, riches, competition, appearance and power. Indonesia 21


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Canossian Ecological Pilgrimage in the Year of Faith

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long the Atlantic coast of Patagonia, Argentina, there is a special locality called Puerto Madryn. Every year hundreds of whales approach the coastline which, for some mysterious reason, they choose these waters in which to give birth to their offspring and wean them. And we chose precisely this place as the destination of our pilgrimage. Lay Canossians, teachers of our schools, a priest and four Sisters were among the 52 pilgrims. They started out from Punta

Alta, Rio Colorado and Luis Beltrán at dawn on Friday 30th August. As the day was breaking we prayed together, praising and thanking God, and then we prepared ourselves to contemplate the immensity of the arid desert wilderness while drinking our “mate” and being able to see a few examples of the South American lama, the woodland hare and the ostrich. What drove us to undertake such an

Watching the whales near the shore.

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adventure? The invitation of our Bishops: “As disciples of Jesus we are invited to give thanks for the gift of creation, an image of the wisdom and beauty of the Creator. (...) And to follow Jesus who, “while travelling the roads of his country, did not only stop to contemplate the beauty of nature but invited his disciples to decipher the message hidden in things. The creatures of the Father also give thanks simply through their very existence.” (Document of Aparecida) We went to the nature reserve of Punta Loma and experienced walking in the cold of the south with a strong wind blowing and the panoramic view seen from a precipice, where we were able to contemplate dozens of killer whales. In the afternoon, while waiting for low tide, we went by coach to a beach called “El


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to the land of the whales.” (to Elena Bernardi, 1826) And remembering an expression of Pope Francis pronounced at the beginning of his Pontificate: “It seems that my brother Cardinals have gone to the ends of the earth to find the Bishop of Rome.” The Sisters of Patagonia, Argentina Mass celebrated in “creation’s cathedral”.

Doradillo” and there we experienced the feeling of a special calmness. The characteristic wind of this place had subsided and all of us, along the sea shore, perceived a deep silence that enwrapped us when we stopped to contemplate eight whales that drew close to us, just about 15 m away. This wonderful sight lasted for more than two hours and the serenity that the Lord gave us put us in the right frame of mind to celebrate the Eucharist on the beach in “creation’s cathedral”, accompanied by the whales.

This ecological pilgrimage, celebrated in the Year of Faith, has encouraged us to look for new itineraries to make known Jesus and His Mother, the Queen of creation, at all times and in every corner of our planet. We lived this exhilarating day in an atmosphere of fraternity, gladness and gratitude, especially in seeing St. Magdalene’s great desire realized: “My dear daughter take care of yourself and try to get rid of your cold if you want us to travel the whole world and spread the Institute of the Daughters of Charity

We realized Magdalene’s dream: to be in the land of the whales.

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Final profession for Canossian Sister

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ong Kong. A long pilgrimage that began 16 years ago at World Youth Day in Paris in 1997, reached a significant milestone in the historical chapel at the Canossian Daughters of Charity Sacred Heart School in Caine Road, Central, on 4th August 2013. Sister Noel Ting knelt before the Provincial Superior of the Canossians, Sister Cynthia Chan, to make her Final Profession as a member of the Congregation, taking the three vows essential to religious life; poverty, chastity and obedience, at the Eucharist celebrated by Father Benedict Lam. At the invitation of the homilist for the occasion, Jesuit Father Beda Liu, Sister Noel related to the 200 or more friends, Sisters of the Congregation and Lay Canossians, as well as coworkers and companions 24

Sr. Noel kneeling before the Provincial Superior, Sr. Cynthia Chan.

from her World Youth Day experience, how the seeds of her vocation were sown in Paris some 16 years ago. She said that the group she belonged to had visited a monastery on the outskirts of the French capital and during a chance conversation with a priest, he mentioned in passing the prospect of considering a vocation to the religious life. Surprising even herself, she said that his remark struck a chord within

her and during what she described as a profound experience of the presence of God in her life which she was gifted with during the International Catholic Youth gathering, the thought kept recurring. She also explained how the first song she ever wrote in English formed in her mind when she was out jogging and reciting the Rosary one evening 10 years ago. “I was reciting the rosary as I ran,” she explained, “and the realisation of my


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total dependence on God struck me very strongly.” She said that she called the song My Way, which, although not an original title, suited the theme of her reflection perfectly. A primary school physical education teacher by profession, Sister Noel made the move to join the Canossians in 2002. She made her temporary profession in 2005 and was appointed to the staff of the St. Francis’ Canossian School, before moving to St. Mary’s Canossian School and finally to her present position at the Sacred Heart Canossian School. But more importantly in terms of her vocation to the religious life, she has been a strong witness of the presence of God in the world among the people with whom she lives and works through her life of prayer and contemplation, as well as her enthusiastic participation in community life, her

mission as a teacher and her wholehearted participation in on-going formation in her life. A dedicated believer in the power of the experience of the World Youth Day for Catholic young people, she took a deep interest in the at-home Youth Day organised by the Diocese during the same week as a small delegation from Hong Kong was in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during the month of July. However, disappointingly,

Singing expresses the joy of her gift.

she was unable to take part in the activities that took place around the city and at the Salesian Retreat House in Cheung Chau, as she was in the Philippines for a three-month period of preparation for Final Profession. However, the chapel was decked out in World Youth Day colours for her profession Mass and several people from the group who were with her in Paris, all those years ago, sang during the ceremony, including a song that was popular with the Youth Day celebration. The Canossian Sisters expressed their gratitude to all those present at the ceremony for the continual support that they have given to Sister Noel on her journey to Final Profession. The pilgrimage that began in Paris so many years ago still continues... 25


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Do you remember...?

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n 2nd October us during his homily and, 2013 it was 25th if we tell the truth, we felt Anniversary of so proud of her. the Canonization of our «When considering the Foundress, St. Magdalene life of Magdalene of of Canossa. Do you still Canossa one could say remember the emotion that charity devoured of that experience in your her like a fever; charity lives as Canossian Sisters, towards God, driven to Canossian Fathers, Lay the highest summit of Canossians and Friends of a mystical experience our Institute? and charity towards her That great event of neighbour, carried to its 2nd October 1988 had extreme consequences repercussions all over the of the gift of self to Canossian world, here in others. Saint Magdalene Italy just as in every other passionately loved nation where you can find Christ Crucified without, The tapestry of St. Magdalene. a Canossian community or however, “turning from a Parish served by Fathers, her own kin” (cf. Is 58:7). Sisters and Lay Canossians. She had understood that real devotion We all remember that wonderful and that moves God’s heart consists in engaging Vigil of prayer and joy in “breaking unjust fetters and undoing the the Paul VI Hall on Saturday afternoon thongs of the yoke, letting the oppressed and evening. The pounding music so go free and braking every yoke.” (cf. Is loved by the many young people present 58:6)» coming from our schools, youth groups, Again on the following Monday, in the parishes and families. The stage design Paul VI Hall we were once again welcomed and the story told by means of flashes and by Pope John Paul II for the General intuitions were so well conceived. Audience in which, all of us together, we The sun of that Sunday morning scorched thanked God for having raised up in the us for hours in St. Peter’s Square. That sea Church and for the Church St. Magdalene of yellow scarves waved at the entrance of Canossa. We can remember some of of the Holy Father, John Paul II, into the the Pope’s words that came into my hands Square, and every time he mentioned St. recently. Magdalene. Our hearts become inflamed «Saint Magdalene of Canossa foresaw as we remember the words he addressed to the future of the society in which she 26


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lived with prophetic clarity. She loved the Church, she wanted strongly the promotion of women, of every woman in social life. She dedicated herself to young people, she devised intelligently opportune ways for a rebirth of religious assistance to families through catechesis. She truly participated in the evangelizing mission of the Church. Magdalene’s charism, now exalted through the proclamation of her sanctity, can it not be gathered and continued by you all, with wisdom, courage and dedicated zeal, for the good and the growth in faith of your community?» A feeling of heartfelt gratitude and sincere love permeates the hearts of each one of us while we strive to know Magdalene and her charism of ‘God alone’ and the ‘Greatest Love’ ever more and more during this time of preparation for the General Chapter. Sr. Isa Roda, 25 years ago on the occasion of a Special Edition of Vitapiù, expressed these sentiments in a letter to Magdalene. «Knowing that one learns to love, with what profusion not only of words and exhortations but of attention and tenderness, you educated the hearts of your daughters in the art of loving. Before making them active workers in the houses

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you founded, or immersing them in the community life or apostolic activities you made each one of them, your Domenica, Angela, Rosa, Elena, Margherita and many others whom you met and loved in their unrepeatable uniqueness, the object of your gentle and firm care, of your trust and esteem, of your friendship rich in human warmth. To them you entrusted your most precious heritage: your poor, the youth, the ordinary people – people worthy of being loved, welcomed and admitted into a circle of love and friendship that is humble, strong and without limits.» Our gratitude to the Lord for the gift of Magdalene can be expressed in this way: We thank you, O Christ Jesus, who are Our Lord, because in front of the whole Church Magdalene of Canossa has been «honoured». Your Father has honoured her in you who are His Son. Where you are even, your servant, is there too. The Editor

People of all countries and languages celebrate Magdalene’s sanctity. A sea of yellow scarves filled St. Peter’s Square.

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My first ‘yes’

Sr. Betty pronounces the Formula of the Vows.

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he presence of the Lord in my life story always brings out some aspect of my existence. But my first encounter with the “Greatest Love”, manifested to me in Jesus on the Cross, always returns to that precise day of my life. Everything began one Good Friday in a juvenile detention centre during a moment of prayer when a group of Seminarians and catechists were trying to explain the reasons for the death of Jesus on the cross to those youngsters, forgotten, refused and 28 24

forced to live on the margins of society, in poverty and without love. That experience for me was a true revelation in which I clearly understood what it meant for Christ to die on the cross. And also what it meant for us that God became man, suffering with steadfastness and never withdrawing a single word, to express all God’s love for us, even to the extreme consequences. All this struck me very deeply and that state of vulnerability took hold of me for the very truth that was manifested to me: LOVE. I was unable to contain my joy. After that experience the Paschal mystery ceased to be simply an event that took place

in time and my life took a totally different direction. By chance, I was inserted into the group that had assumed the task of sharing the Gospel message in that detention centre. Here, we met Sr. Maria Colombo, a woman who really loves the Lord and her mission to “make Jesus known and loved”. Thanks to her, my idea of Religious Life began to change. With her we began a journey of formation regarding our service in the detention centre. In every meeting with her I could clearly see her efforts to introduce us to a process of identification with Him who loved us first. Little by little, I began to meet

Sr. Betty receives the Rule of Life from Sr. Kay Taylor, Provincial Superior.


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incial Superior,

Prov Sr. Kay Taylor,

Sr. Maria in the convent and, only the Lord knows why, she started to give me books on the Charism of her Institute. The book that surprised me more was “The Path of Identification with Christ Crucified” by M. Elda Pollonara. That book very clearly explained that moment of Jesus’ life which had fascinated me: Christ Crucified, the expression of the Greatest Love, the Charism given to Saint Magdalene of Canossa. Each of those meetings with Sr. Maria opened more and more the amplitude of this new way of Loving and even if I was very slow to accept it, little by little I felt within me more clearly a call to remain with Him. I came to know the Lord’s generosity, His patience, His way of opening up a way so that I could respond to Him. Help and human mediations were never lacking, and after almost

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The parents of Sr. Betty

two years of discernment, with full awareness and free will, even if with a little fear too, I decided to begin my Pre-Novitiate in the House of Canossian Formation in the Bakhita Community in Monterrey, Mexico. Three and a half years have passed during which I have made many experiences, both within the community and in the apostolate, which have helped me to mature my response to the Lord. As I entered the Church where the ceremony of my First Profession would be celebrated, my experience of God’s love flashed through my mind and I remembered the reasons that compelled Magdalene to love and serve Him; I felt moved once again by the words: “Jesus is not loved because He is not known”. For me, just as for Magdalene, sharing in Jesus’ love means transmitting Life. Every

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step I took was inspired by the GREATEST LOVE and by Mary’s generosity, who, aware of being loved, always remained open to God’s action within her. The day before the ceremony, during the practice of the rite and of the reading of the Formula of Vows, I cried. I do not know whether because of emotion or anxiety, but when I pronounced my Profession in Church, before the whole community, I lived it with full consciousness and I felt invaded by serenity and a deep joy. I am very grateful for having been accompanied and sustained, for the prayers and for all those who have been present along my journey with the Lord until today, and I will always be so from now on as a Daughter of Charity, Servant of the Poor. Sr. Betty Rivero, Chihuahua, Mexico 29


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CANOSSIAN FOUNDATION

“Nothing can be done in just one trip”

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ou leave for a young drug addicts who journey you have crowd the streets of always dreamt this suburb. The aim of about, leaving behind, the Sisters is to bring even if only for a while, the youngsters to the your dear old Italy! You Balay (house) where the travel to a Country you Canossian staff can take know little, with great care of them until they expectations and the complete an itinerary presumption of wanting of re-integration into to change the world society. Sara and the Staff in Tondo. and to be able to offer On this journey I have a smile. Instead, you discover that everyone learned that the material things we have at smiles already. Welcome to the Philippines! I our disposal are useful but not necessary spent forty days during the months of August and that even when people have nothing and September immersed in this wonderful they may still transmit their zest for life by culture, moving from north to south and offering you a smile. I have learned that we savouring, as much as possible, their customs can do so many things with our own hands, and traditions. Voluntary service and smiles: even eat! And above all, I have learned that it two words in the Italian language which are is not absolutely necessary to sacrifice time disappearing. What touched my heart the and energy. The important thing is to do it most was the faith of these people and their with love and as a service for others. This gratitude for receiving medical care. In the culture, so open and cheerful, deserves to Philippines health care is not free; you have be experienced so as to know, even if only in to pay. In Tondo, a district of the capital part, a different way of loving life. Sara Pezzin of the Philippines, I helped the Canossian Sisters in distributing food to those affected We are on the move. Always! by TB. Every day, the sick receive a meal Every day we cover distances that permit and the necessary medicines that guarantee us to meet people and come to know survival at the “Canossa Health and Social other realities, sometimes so near to us, Centre”. sometimes very far away just as it happened Later I went to the south, to Cagayan de to Sara. Time flies and so too this year Oro, and helped the Sisters and their lay 2013. Every day we meet new people and collaborators in activities for abandoned see new places along the path of life. We are children. The living conditions of these young boys are very precarious; they eat only on the move. Always! In the course of 2013 new missionary horizons have opened up once a day and you can find them sleeping for the Canossian Foundation which need on the streets. Their work is to provide concrete responses for urgent needs or for education for the many street children and 30


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laying the foundations of “a better life” for many children, adolescents, young people and adults. We set out to reach these places and bring your solidarity. You can find the journal of our travels in our website www. fondazionecanossiana.org The “Canossa Health and Social Centre” is one of our missions, a place Sara has seen close at range. It was set up in 1971 in the poorest and most degraded area of the city of Manila (Philippines) and for 40 years this health and social facility has been a precious point of reference for the fight against TB and malnutrition. It offers free health assistance, activities for the promotion of women and the protection of children. However, the weather here deteriorates resources and buildings and, looking to the future and continuing to help still more adults and children, it needs help. First of all, the damage caused by typhoons and flooding (at least 20 times a year) that hit the Philippines, needs repair and re-organisation. It is also necessary to strengthen the drainage system and install protection for the ground floor rooms from future atmospheric calamities. Continuing to guarantee medicines, diagnostic tests for prevention and dental treatment for the poor is another “emergency” that must be faced. In Tondo, children, women and young people scan the horizon of their future. They wait, and hope beyond their strength and possibilities. Our help may be a ray of light

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that heralds the birth of a new day, a new life, even for them. Let us keep moving. We will meet along the paths of the world, the crossroads of our hearts. Giancarlo Urbani Project Developer – Canossian Foundation

Travelling companions! Even in the course of 2013 Canossian missionary history has been enriched with many initiatives and concrete gestures of support for the forgotten, made possible thanks to the numerous friends of the Canossian missions who include donors, individuals, schools, missionary groups, Association, firms and public bodies (Trent Town Council, Schio Town Council, Autonomous Province of Trent, Veneto Region and Autonomous Region of Trent and Alto Adige) and private institutions (Cariverona Foundation, Catholic Insurance Foundation, Harambee Africa International) as well as the Bishops Conference of Italy. To all, indistinctly and with equal warmth, we express our sincere thanks. Continue to follow us on our Social Network. Fondazione Canossiana Onlus Fondazione Canossiana Best wishes for a Holy Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Staff of the Canossian Foundation

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Love came down Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, Love Divine; Love was born at Christmas, Star and Angels gave the sign. Worship we the Godhead, Love Incarnate, Love Divine; Worship we our Jesus: But wherewith for sacred sign? Love shall be our token, Love be yours and love be mine, Love to God and all men, Love for plea and gift and sign. Christina Rossetti

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C CURIA GENERALIZIA FIGLIE della CARITĂ€, CANOSSIANE Via della Stazione di Ottavia, 70 - 00135 ROMA - ITALY - Tel. +39.06.308.280


Vitapiù 4 2013 EN