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A Community Week of Verification and Planning

From the community of Fermentim – Scutari (Albania)

At the beginning of June, before entering into the intense and varied experiences of the summer months, we communicated to each other the importance of adequate time to meet together before starting again with the new community and pastoral year. We knew, in fact, that in the following two months we would have various commitments, both more strictly congregational, such as participation in the General Chapter, and linked to the mission of the Pastoral Center of Fermentim, with three school camp experiences for children and teenagers, in the mountains and the sea, the time dedicated to spiritual exercises, sufficient rest and visits to the families of origin.

We came to this decision at the end of a lunch, when, invited by the superior of the community, Sr. Rita Ndoci, each of us expressed ourselves regarding the possibility of meeting together for a time of verification and planning, thus sharing the need to this community experience, we agreed on 5-10 September, welcoming hospitality in a house in the mountains in Fushë -Arrez, offered to us by the German Capuchin friars who live in that area and who have been our friends for some years.

During the summer months, each of us cherished this desire and we can say that we have started to experience the September appointment already from a distance, helped by the indications and points to take into consideration that the superior proposed to us and on which to prepare before the in-person meeting. Thus, in particular in the month of August, in several personal moments of prayer and meditation on the past year, we put down "in black and white" what, under the light of the Holy Spirit, we recognized as important, finding the time to prepare our hearts and to be able to live as best as possible what the Lord would have given us in those days.

On September 5, the day on which the Church commemorates Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Albanian national patron saint, after the morning mass, we left for Fushë – Arrez, ready to live an experience that was new to us. In the afternoon we met for the first meeting, in which the superior proposed the method we would follow in the various stages of the journey.

On the first day, after sharing the experience of the Chapter, we found ourselves sharing our personal projects, the result of the spiritual exercises that each of us had experienced at different times; on the second day we continued with the review of the year at a personal, community and pastoral level, each according to some specific points also on the basis of the apostolic commitments undertaken during the year. The third day saw us first engaged in discernment on three realities, one community and two apostolic, then, in the afternoon we took into consideration the different works of the Pastoral Center and our respective personal and shared responsibilities, in such a way as to be able to continue also the next day to plan the various apostolic areas and then compare ourselves, activating a real laboratory between us. The fourth day of work consisted of discerning the community project together, in light of what was shared in the verification and pastoral planning, starting from the objective of the year and then, listening to the Rule of Life, identifying the important points in order to be able to live it , according to the Pauline "4 wheels of the chariot". The last stage of the journey consisted of verifying the days spent. Once we returned home, we collected the work in a paper folder, which we promised to return to for a periodic check.

For us they were intense days of listening, meditation, verification, evaluation and planning, an adventure in brotherhood lived in the growing awareness of the importance of meeting each other again, listening to each other, clarifying each other, welcoming each other to grow first of all as a community , trying to remain on a path of continuous conversion, in order to be able to experience the art of pastoral care among the people of God, particularly in the outskirts of Fermentim, a land where there are many challenges.

We thank the Lord for this gift, for the lights received and the path started, for the desire he has placed within each of us to live this time of grace, we entrust to the good Shepherd and Mary the path that awaits us among the people of Fermentim and beyond.

The sisters of the Fermentim community – Scutari (Albania)

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