The FMA that visited the Valponasca today were already familiar with the window that Maria Mazzarello looked out of from the second story of her home in this isolated part of Mornese. This window and the well have become for us FMA important icons in our spirituality. From her window Maria could gaze at the parish church perched on top of the hill, and see the flicker of the tabernacle light reflected through the stain glass windows. The sight of this transported her to prayer and contemplation on the wonderful mystery of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Mary encouraged her family to join her in prayer every evening, and she would mentally unite herself with Fr. Pestarino and the parishioners in adoring and thanking God for his blessings.
The Sisters had the joy of spending most of the day at this sacred, silent place, and prayed at the window of the Valponasca. Sr. Maire O’Byrne reminded us in her talk that the time Maria spent at the Valponasca was one of the richest periods of Maria’s life. Maria herself stated, “It was here I learned to work, pray, contemplate and serve with love.”
The Eucharist was celebrated by Fr. Joy Matthews , and was animated beautifully by the INK province,of Banglore, India. The community of the Collegio provided a scrumptious picnic lunch and this fortified us for the afternoon and the walk back home. The day concluded with a meaningful prayer reflection and spontaneous sharing by each sister. It was a moment of profound insight as each one spoke of what was in her heart. It was evident Mother Mazzarello still communicates today with her daughters. They have taken from this experience to be more committed to a deeper prayer life and contemplation, to hard work, joy and courage in the mission, and above all making our houses a home that welcomes and like Main to be continually united with God in creation, and with one another. From the window of the Valponasca we look out beyond and take risks, and from the well we will go deeper into our lives.