Our community, the Poor Clares of Roman, Romania, recently enjoyed a period of profound communion and meaningful discussion during a visit from Mother Damiana ARDESI, the Federal President of the Urbanist Poor Clares of Italy. She was joined by the Abbess Carmela SALVATO of Città di Castello, Italy, the original home of this monastic community, and the General Delegate for the Second Order and Affiliated Institutions, Friar Germano TOGNETTI.
This visit to our community took place on July 6-11, 2023. It was characterized by light, newness, fraternity, communion, dialogue, authenticity and hope.
During the visit, we experienced the beauty of belonging to an extended family and felt the joy of sharing a history deeply rooted in the universal Church, a history faithfully built up over the centuries by our brothers and sisters around the world.
The sisters and the superiors, using the wisdom proper to men and women of God, evaluated the Franciscan-Clarian reality and spirituality so that it might zealously and dutifully be maintained. To support this effort, we contributed our specific apostolate—prayer—in order to keep the contemplative spirit alive here in Romania. A meeting with the Most Reverend Iosif PĂULEŢ, Bishop of the Diocese of Iaşi, Romania, confirmed the importance of our presence in the life of the local Church and its beneficial impact on the spiritual life of the faithful of the Diocese.
Friar Damian-Gheorghe PĂTRAȘCU, the Minister Provincial of the Province of St. Joseph Spouse of the B.V.M. in Romania was unable to be present due to pastoral reasons, but he had already discussed the purpose of this visit with the Superiors at an earlier meeting in Rome. Friar Alexandru OLARU, the Provincial Assistant of the Urbanist Poor Clares of Romania, played an important role in this visit by taking the visitors to some of the other Franciscan realities in the Province, namely, the Pace Foundation at the Sf. Anton de Padova Friary in Roman, the Franciscan Institute in Roman, and the Provincial Curia in Bacău.
This meeting gave us renewed hope that the Gospel can be witnessed without compromise, in the spirit of Franciscan authenticity and simplicity. Without losing anything of the evangelical essence and spirit of St. Francis and St. Clare, we embrace, with eyes wide open, the difficult reality of the world we live in, in order to truly be and feel like brothers and sisters, living in harmony with everyone and with the whole of creation, starting with ourselves and our community.
This visit gave us a concrete, organizational spirit and a mature, clear, specific, realistic and authentic way of thinking. It opened us to listening, understanding and being with the reality of each individual sister, with motherly tenderness, mindful of the good of each individual and the community.
We trust God and are grateful to Him for the experience of family we shared together. This occurred as we were gathered around the altar, our place of communion with God and each other, and during recreation time, when we talked about our experiences and lives in a warm atmosphere of Franciscan harmony and simplicity. Overall, this experience was a gift and a grace for us all.
We thank God for this time together!
Poor Clares of Roman, Romania