Lettera Madre 30 April 2020
SUORE DELLA PROVVIDENZA ROSMINIANE
Via Aurelia, 773
My dear Sisters,
It is with sadness that we announce the withdrawal of our presence, as Communities in Turin and in Biella and the closure of the two schools: Infant and Primary. Two long-standing ‘works’ which have seen many Sisters involved in different ways over many years.
For some time we have been monitoring these works together; in fact they were considered during the Italian Assembly and subsequently in the General Chapter.
Despite their long history and the understandable attachment to these apostolic works, the changed and realistic situations make it impossible to continue supporting them financially, considering the small number of pupils, the constant draw on maintaining the buildings, the diminishing number of Sisters as well as economic resources. Above all these considerations is the Sisters, regarding their age, frailty and various diseases which make life itself a risk, as well as the economic aspects and sustenance of the works themselves.
While we thank God for his action in our history and the numerous Sisters who in various communities, once ministered in the areas of Turin and Biella, we know that we cannot live in the memory of the past; circumstances change and are constantly evolving, calling us to root ourselves in the reality of today. We are grateful to all the Sisters who have ministered in these communities; particularly the Sisters who are there today and who despite the difficulties, have maintained a joyful presence in the local community.
The pandemic is putting many of our regions in difficulty and at risk: especially our works. Not only in Italy! It is a global health and economic crisis. The same security measures are also applied in the other Districts, (UK, East Africa, India); for example, in Tanzania, India and Venezuela, the Schools are closed, they don’t know when they will reopen, enrolments suspended … teachers ask for a salary and our Sisters ask themselves in anguish: ‘where are we going to get the money from?’
Dear Sisters, we come to the end of April, having lived Easter in a very ‘different’ way. Yet all that is happening is a continuous invitation to live in a new way by grasping what is essential. We continue to live this emergency, having received the wonderful news of thousands of people who have recovered; this gives us great hope!
Even if we move towards a prudent easing of the restrictive measures, the repeated warning “Only by protecting each other can we look to the future”, still applies to us today. We know that the people to be protected in Phase 2 because they are more at risk of developing the aggressive forms of Covid-19, are the elderly people, with ongoing pathologies, subject to high blood pressure or coronary heart disease…
For each person who has encountered Covid-19 there is a personal story.
The cold facts cannot tell the human stories. There is the pain and sadness for those who have died and for the loved ones left behind. This is the human side of this disease: the pain that people in every part of the world are enduring is part of our collective humanity.
Among them are our dear Sisters who left us, some of whom were well advanced in years or had underlying illnesses. A special remembrance is Sr Maria Fatima whom the Lord has taken to himself after much suffering; a prayer for her Dad and family far away.
I share what she wrote to me: “I offer to the Lord all my suffering for the Congregation and the Church”. (15 Oct 2019) and “I never tire of thanking the Lord and you that I am here in Italy at the Casa dell’Addolorata who care for us and I think of the poor people who are alone and have no one. I offer to the Lord the little sacrifice that I have” (29 March 2020)
During this month of May, Pope Francis encourages everyone to rediscover the beauty of praying the Rosary at home, in the family;
prayed together or personally.
The restrictions of the pandemic have forced us to appreciate this “family” aspect all the more.
“Contemplating the face of Christ with the heart of Mary our Mother will make us even more united as a spiritual family and will help us overcome this time of trial.”
We ask Jesus, through Mary’s intercession, to transform this situation, which the whole world is experiencing.
How does Jesus work this transformation?
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the same power which transformed chaos into paradise, a virgin into the Mother of the Messiah, and bread and wine in the body and blood of Christ.
We enter the month of May, confiding in Mary, who shows us the way to follow Jesus:
“do what Jesus tells you”.
God bless, with love,
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