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USMI Sabbatical Quarter

September 10 - December 5, 2022

With great joy, dear sisters, I share the wonderful experience lived at USMI. The sabbatical trimester began with 5 residential days in the Foresteria of the Monastery of Santa Scolastica in Subiaco (cradle of the western Monastery) to foster, under the careful guidance of Sr. Rosanna Costantini (Salesian), the mutual knowledge of the group of 42 participants, coming from 28 congregations and 25 different nationalities. We immediately felt like a big family, albeit with different languages. Fraternity, trust, sharing and freedom have been created between us, thus allowing us to start the journey on the right foot.

The central theme that accompanied us was: SHABBAT SHALOM: PEACE IN THE HEART OF YOUR DAYS - "Remain in my love" (Jn 15:9b). This was developed with multiple nuclei proposed during the course.

  • In the month of September: "Rooted in the Word, at the school of Jesus" we were able to learn to approach the Scriptures and deepen the female figures of the First Covenant (the prophetesses) and in the Gospel of John.

  • In the month of October: "Immersed in the Trinity, following Jesus" we were offered an itinerary of discovery of the liturgy as life and of discernment as descending to the heart and fostering an attitude of listening to the voice of God.

  • In the month of November: "Humanize to humanize the world", with lessons on the evangelical counsels in a relational key, the awareness grew that one becomes a sister, a reality that characterizes Consecrated Life.

In this time we have enjoyed the presence of men and women speakers who have given us the opportunity to enter more and more into the knowledge of the Scriptures and of ourselves, also through work groups for in-depth analysis and workshops.

Furthermore, the possibility of visiting Montecassino, Assisi, Christian Rome and other significant places were opportunities for growth, as was the audience with the Pope, during which he spoke to us as a USMI group.

On December 5, after the course of Spiritual Exercises, held in Rocca di Papa from November 28 to December 4, which made us rediscover that "the measure of Love is to Love without measure", we concluded with a fraternal lunch at the USMI headquarters which has welcomed us in recent months.

It was for me a time to stop and let the spirit, mind and body regenerate; a time to re-enter the heart, inhabited by God, a place where the Word has been a lamp for a journey, a dynamism that leads me to profound joy.

Finally, I thank the Lord for this unexpected GIFT, a time to rest and regenerate the mind, spirit and body. I thank the Trinity and praise the Lord with the MAGNIFICAT together with Mary. I thank Sr Cesarina Pisanelli, Provincial Superior and her advice for giving me the opportunity to take this wonderful, special and profound course. Thanks to Sr. Aminta Sarmiento Puentes, Superior General and to the sisters of the general community for welcoming me with joy and spontaneity. In these three months I have felt, an integral part of the community, from day one.

I greet you with joy and wish each of you this wonderful experience. Thank you all and have a good Advent journey for a Holy Christmas!

Sr. Assunta Perdoncin, sjbp

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