[Province of San Vincenzo-Italia] Dear readers, we are sisters who live in the “Sr. Rosalie Rendu House” for elderly sisters in Siena (Italy) and we would like to share with you the experience we have preparing children to receive their First Communion. For several years, we have been preparing favors to offer to the parishes in order to be able to support the projects of the Vincentian family for the people of Eritrea. Doing so, we are happy to use our remaining manual skills in activities like embroidery, crochet and sewing, and, consistent with our charism, we live both the prayer dimension, which obviously is a fundamental part of our day, as well as the mission dimension. Eager to be active and proactive, we still try to live in the world, and to welcome ideas for the missions we want to reach. We try to do it with a positive spirit, not considering ourselves old and sick persons who have to be pitied, but “otherwise young,” determined and firm with the intention to still build an important resource for the Community. Our project is not only to manufacture products to sell, but above all it aims to reach out to others: children, catechists and parents. We think that our ministry is essential to the cause of religion and that the example provided by each of us can help our young people to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion in the best way.
The children are very curious about our age. Especially in a society where value is determined by productivity with the goal of individual accumulation or by the speed of machines that kills creativity. We are convinced we are building an essential cultural and material resource, in order to affirm our moral, emotional, and religious values, aimed at the good of individuals, families and society. These experiences and projecting ourselves into the present draws the attention of this “commercialized” society to the importance of ethical values such as the beauty of the gift, devotion and love for others, welcoming and respecting the most vulnerable.
It seems important to us to communicate and to prepare yourself for getting older, in order to live in a serene fullness this difficult, but no less rich phase of life. We must learn, over time, to become docile clay in the hands of our Father who, in his infinite love, transfers in each of us the image and the feelings of his Son. He opens us to the Grace that comes almost “unexpectedly”, in silence and through a thousand roads favored by meditation, and every good deed we do in every place and season of life. Growing old means to grow in a broad sense, to question ourselves about our identity, to discover what each of us is and the other tasks to which we are called by Providence. In our case, we recognize it in the gift of vocation that has to be carried out every day, and which responds to the plan of God to help us and our poorest brothers and sisters to live a life truly worth living.
The Cammino group