September 18, The theme of the day was suffering, discernment and new life. Sr. Edna Mary reflected with the group on Maria Mazzarello’s experience of illness and rejection among her own town folk which eventually brought about a turning point in her life. Maria’s experience of suffering gave birth to a new and wider mission in accepting God’s plan for her. The question we have to ask ourselves now is “What do you hold on to when you are suffering?” This serves as a gentle reminder for us. After this session we felt supported in our moments of vulnerability.
The Eucharist was celebrated by Fr. Joy, SDB, and he intensified our willingness to accept suffering and contradictions and to become more like the bread broken in the Eucharist to be shared and given to others . The Mass was prepared by the ING province of North India.
The afternoon was spent with Signora Clara, the present owner of the Casa Immacolata, who kindly welcomed us into her house. This house situated beside the parish church was the beginning of the work of Maria and Petronilla. It was here the Daughters of Mary Immaculate met and cared for the first group of boarders. Signora Clara shared mementos and other materials she had in connection with Maria Mazzarello, Don Pestarino , and the Pious Union. After this session we felt supported in our moments of vulnerability.
The day ended with a prayer and faith sharing in small groups.
At the goodnight the ING province shared about their apostolate among the marginalized , and we were all moved by the heroic work these Sisters are doing for youth and women at risk. Like Maria Mazzarello we FMA can bring new life to people in spite of their hardship.