The first Family Encounter of the Home of the Mother in Ponte di Legno, Brescia, Italy, from June 2nd to June 4th, 2017.
The 2nd to the 4th of June, 2017 has been a historical date for the Home of the Mother in Italy. Why? Simply because we had our first Family Encounter of the Home of the Mother in Italy. Until now, it hadn’t been possible to organize an experience like this, not even in Holy Week due to the idiosyncrasy of the country and the parishes. For that reason, it was very important to be able to do something like this in order for the lay members in Italy to get to know what the Home of the Mother really is.
The encounter was organized a few months ago, and in that moment we didn’t realize that it coincided with the Sunday of Pentecost, a situation that really hasn’t been “coincidence.” It has been a true Pentecost in that the Holy Spirit has poured himself out in the members of the Home of the Mother and everyone who participated in this encounter.
Everything began on Friday, June 2nd (in Italy it was a national holiday). Many cars filled with families left at the same time from Lumezzane and Brignano (two of the places where we have communities in Italy), in direction towards a town called Temú in Ponte di Legno in the province of Brescia where we all got together. Together with the families, there were also eight sisters (four from each of the communities) and we also had the great blessing that three Servant Priests were able to come: Fr. Felix, Fr. Peter and Fr. Luke, recently ordained as a priest. This truly was a great grace for everyone as there were completely at our service, celebrating Mass, hearing confessions, giving talks, etc.
A family from Ascoli Piceno also joined us and some new families, that aren’t members of the Home but have recently drawn closer, also participated.
The three days of the encounter were very intense and with many activities divided by ages: children, young people and adults. Fr. Peter taught us with a talk about his doctoral thesis: “The Virgin Mary as a model of participation in the Eucharist,” Fr. Felix with a very practical talk about marriage and Fr. Luke told his vocation story, a testimony that made everyone cry. The days went flying by between talks and moments of reflection, rosaries, Mass, adoration, mixed with moments to have fun and to rest.
Saturday night we had the vigil of Pentecost, asking in a special way for the gift of the Holy Spirit for everyone present and for the whole Church.
It has been a very special get-together, truly of the HOME, with a great deal of collaboration by everyone in the moments of working (prepare lunch, wash the dishes, clean up, etc.) and in all the different activities. Everyone was in agreement in that they had really felt like they were in a family and they had experienced a very strong presence of Our Lady.
Sunday, after lunch and clean-up, unfortunately we had to separate. Truly, nobody wanted to leave, and more than one left crying because they wanted to continue being there. It was so difficult to leave the encounter that we decided to invite whoever would like to come to our house to eat dinner and everyone showed up as a sort of continuation to the encounter.
Monday we had another big grace: Fr. Luke celebrated his “first Mass” in Italy in the parish of Lumezzane. A great deal of people participated, including everyone who had been in the encounter, and it was like another continuation of this same encounter.
We give thanks to God for all the graces that He has poured out in these days in the Home of the Mother in Italy. We commend it all to Our Mother so that