In Tre Fontane, as soon as we knew the date of the canonization, we began to open our hearts even before opening our doors.
For 8 days from May 12 to 19 the gates remained open, but in order to arrive at the long-awaited day, we walked together step by step, taking the time it required.
TIME TO MEDITATE
During Lent we looked at various aspects of Br Charles’ life. Andrea Mandonico (vice postulator) spent half a day with us, helping us to deepen our understanding of certain points. And then, without even knocking, Covid came in and we had to close the doors of our Fraternity. We were nevertheless able to take advantage of on-line sessions with Cardinal Aveline – bishop of Marseilles- and L.sr. Kathleen who spoke about Br Charles’ life.
For three Sundays in a row, the little sisters from the formation team replaced evening prayer with material for reflection: Gospel passages and texts taken from the universal little brother. Some questions helped us to go further…and to open our heart.
The canonisation was also a good moment to share with others about the life and message of Brother Charles: journalists climbed the hill to our house and several little sisters shared the treasure that is entrusted to us.
During the 8 days, before and after the canonisation, we lived in an atmosphere of prayer. Little sisters were constantly present in the chapel. Even in the midst of all kinds of preparations, we were able to benefit from moments of deep silence.
TIME FOR CELEBRATION AND MEETING
Every day since the beginning of May, new faces came to enrich our « village » : tables were lengthened and the banquet was enriched with tasty and varied dishes. Almost heaven!
One after another, sisters and friends arrived from the four corners of the world. We all made ourselves available to welcome them. Each one of us did her best to make sure that the celebration be a success! As the days went on, the friends we welcomed « entered into the dance of hospitality”. As they left, they shared with great emotion how good it had been to sense the warm family atmosphere. Indeed, this event was an opportunity for them to meet others and ourselves in a different way.
Many people visited us. Some truly came on pilgrimage, others came to see the little museum with Br Charles’ objects. Others came to give thanks. There were some surprises, some unexpected meetings, always joy! There were some beautiful meetings during all those days. And for us, it was an experience of simple, joyful, easy mutual help.
TIME TO GIVE THANKS
The thanksgiving Mass was the conclusion to the celebrations. But in our hearts and in the life of Tre Fontane, there is still today, a lot of gratitude.
Among those who passed through, many continue to send us messages. All of them are grateful for the time together. Others, having not been able to come during the celebrations, came in the days that followed to express their proximity.
Perhaps it’s only now that we realize to what an extent those days were and continue to be, days that were dense with grace. A grace that surprised us and went beyond any of our human expectations. A grace that encourages us to persevere…so that, step by step on the pathway traced out for us by Brother Charles, we not grow weary of opening up to the Spirit’s newness.
Your little sisters in Tre Fontane