Italy. On 12 February 2022, the formation meeting of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians from 7 to 10 years of profession of the 7 Provinces of Italy took place online. About 40 FMA met in connection on the Zoom platform to study the theme of Poverty together.

The formation of the FMA from 7 to 10 years of profession, organized by the Union of Italian Provinces (UNISIT) provides for a four-year journey on the topics: Chastity, Obedience, Poverty, Mission.

Fr. Marco Napolitano, biblical scholar, accompanied the young sisters in their reflection starting with the lectio on the biblical passages “The widow from Zarephath” (1Ki 17:7-16) and “The widow’s mite” (Mk 12:38-44), in particular on the expression “The jar of flour shall not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry” (1 Kings 17:16). Necessary poverty, bad poverty, prophetic poverty were the three points deepened in meditation.

Prayer, personal reflection, sharing, and group meetings by year of profession set the pace for the morning. The online meeting mode allowed the FMA to meet for a dialogue and to reach the formative objectives set:

– deal with the Word of God and study the articles of the Constitutions in the light of the Bible and the Charism;

– live the national formation meeting as an opportunity for enrichment and as a possibility to continue the journey of poverty and essentiality in everyday life.

In the final sharing, the four groups brought out the challenges that poverty poses today to the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and a commitment to live together during the year.

The sharing of one of the participants:

“Taking part in this meeting was an opportunity for a renewed and faithful adherence to my FMA vocation. The desire to share the journey with the sisters, especially in this time of physical distance dictated by the pandemic, allowed me to make the most of the formation opportunity proposed. Although online, I experienced a time of meaningful encounter, of listening to the Word, of the experiences of each sister in the light of our Constitutions and our Charism.

Meditating on the vow of poverty starting from my daily life, from the reality in which I live together with the sisters and the whole educating community, allowed me to make a synthesis to continue responding to the call that the Lord continues to address to me day after day. Living the vow of poverty is a continuous appeal to go to the essential, to go deeper, to welcome one’s own poverty, and be able to open up to otherness. If we are aware of our poverty, we can build fraternity, live in communion by sharing what we are and have.

Poverty is trust in people, in the situations that life offers, even those that apparently do not seem reliable. Living poverty means abandoning oneself, being able to welcome even the unprecedented of and accept it as a gift. It is the ability to make room within oneself to allow God and all others to have life in our life.

If we live the vow of poverty by looking at the experience of Jesus, we would be able to have a new and prophetic lifestyle capable of evangelizing with life, just as it was for Him. In this sense, it seems interesting to me to reflect on the relationship between poverty and pastoral charity, typical of our charism that gives everything, which keeps nothing for itself, and becomes a constant and generative presence of good among the young and all people”.


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