Girls' get together in Lumezzane, Brescia (Italy), February 16 - 17, 2015.
The Servant Sisters of Lumezzane (Brescia) and of Brigniano (Bergamo) organized a two day retreat for girls 13 years and older, taking advantage of their school break, as a preparation for the Lenten season.
Since in Italy the month of February is dedicated to life, the motto chosen for this retreat was “I am the Life.”
The girls began to arrive around mid-morning on Monday, February 16. The first thing we did was go to the sisters' chapel to entrust the retreat and our lives to the Lord in the Eucharist and to the Blessed Virgin Mary. After praying we went down to play games and eat lunch. When we finished eating we were ready for the big game of questions and tests, all based on the "Hymn to Life" written by Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. They were not at all easy, but we had fun with them!
After we finished the game, we ran to get into the cars and went towards Cividino (Bergamo), a village where there is a monastery of Carmelite nuns, who welcomed us with great joy. The nuns were a breath of fresh air and spontaneity. Many of the girls, if not all, were surprised to discover that what is behind the bars of a monastery are women who are not sad and serious, but who are cheerful and in love with God. With the stories that they told, filled with good humor, the time flew by. We enjoyed our time together, we asked them questions and they gave us answers, and they also delighted us with beautiful songs composed by the nuns themselves, which transmitted authentic peace.
Most of the girls commented that this visit to the Carmelites had been one of the best moments of the retreat because it had changed the idea they had about the contemplative life.
The second day, which was a Tuesday, after having breakfast, we began the day with Mass in the parish. At the end of Mass we got in the car and went up to the small chapel of St. Margherita which is located in the surrounding mountains of Lumezzane. There we had a very good prayer time, some stayed inside the church with Jesus in the Tabernacle, others outside, contemplating the beauty of creation between snow-capped mountains and grazing sheep. Each girl had a notebook in the shape of a cell phone with messages from God (taken from the Bible) and from the Saints, that helped them enter into the presence of the Lord and to be in dialogue with Him. Several girls returned home very excited and radiant from this experience.
After our time of prayer with Jesus, as the apostles did after the transfiguration, we went down the mountain and went to play at a nearby park. It was fun, although we were covered in mud since the snow had just melted. When we arrived home, we really appreciated the hot meal that had been prepared for us by the sisters. After eating we had a short meeting to share our impressions, reflections and to be able to give thanks for these two intense days in which we have received and learned so much that benefits our natural and supernatural life. Surely only with the passing of time will we be able to appreciate, to the maximum, everything that we have received.