Rome (Italy). From 17 February  2019, the Spiritual Exercises took place in the Community of Santa Rosa, Castelgandolfo, for the young women in the Period of Assessment and Guidance and some young women in discernment of the Italian Provinces.

The experience is recounted by the young participants:

“We arrived at Castelgandolfo on Sunday, February 17, a day in which we were able to know each other better and also the Salesian priest, Fr. Francesco Galante, of the Salesian community of Livorno.  We officially began the experience of the Exercises with the Celebration of Holy Mass.

Accompanying us over the course of the days were: Sr. Gabriella Garofoli, Sr. Paola Casalis e Sr. Elena Ongarato, Councilors for formation of the respective Provinces of Rome, Piedmont, and Triveneta.  They guided us through the different times of the day to live fully every opportunity to meet the Lord. In fact, every day we have been able to approach the Word, experience times of silence and meditation, celebrate the Eucharist, remain before God in Eucharistic Adoration, share doubts and the fruits of our reflections, experiencing a lively fraternity among us.

The theme that accompanied us was that of the gaze, a gaze capable of seeking, moving, dissolving, and offering hope. Through the Lectio on the Gospel and reflections on some charismatic figures of the Salesian Family, Fr. Francesco guided us in the dynamics of discernment, allowing us to grasp and bring home instruments and ‘eyes’ to metabolize the wealth received and start the ‘exercises’ of daily life.

During the last day spent in Santa Rosa, we had the opportunity to evaluate the past experience, highlighting the beauty of what we experienced. We young people in the PVO have been offered the possibility of a direct gaze on what each one is living in her community, talking about personal and shared impressions that accompany our journey.

These were intense days of silence and prayer but also full of the beautiful and healthy joy of which Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello were masters. We cannot but treasure and be grateful for what we have received and desirous to continue walking together to deepen the personal encounter with the Lord”.


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