Our Journey to Rome
We who write to you are students of the Alberoni College in Piacenza, Italy. This weekend we traveled to Rome for a spiritual retreat at the Provincial house. Father Nicola Albanesi CM, Visitor of Italy, held the retreat. Our director, Father Georges Maylaa CM, accompanied us. We are eleven students, nine from the Province of the Orient and two from the Province of Italy, the Region of Albania.
This year Joseph Abi Rached, Michel Ibrahim, Fady Syriani, Charbel Nader, Emad Ibrahim and Ferdinant Kodra will finish their studies to consecrate themselves totally to the Lord by serving the poor. In addition, Pascal Assaf, Georges Bsaibes and I (Rrok), are finishing the first year of Theology. Next year the Internal Seminary will receive Elie Chamoun and Joseph Bassila who will be here in Italy.
On this trip we took the opportunity to visit Rome, this city with such a great historical and spiritual heritage. Above all, the most beautiful part of our visit was at the General Curia; there we met with Father General. Our meeting began on Sunday morning with the celebration of the Eucharist; enlightened by his Word and after having eaten his Body we embraced. The superior of the house Father Giuseppe Carulli, CM presented us with the Curia’s new project: “Let us cultivate integration – flowers and fruits in the land of asylum.” This project was born as a response to the Jubilee theme: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me…” (Mt 25:35). It is about welcoming 12 refugees. The project consists of the redevelopment and enhancement of approximately two hectares of uncultivated land owned by the Congregation of the Mission in Rome. Later, Father Tomaž shared with us his experience in these last months in different countries of the world, reminding us of the importance of the Mission and the different ways to evangelize the poor. It was also a good moment for our 6 students who are finishing their studies. During the meeting Father Tomaž said especially to them: “The medal has two faces, most often seen is that which is in front of us: our acting outside, staying with people, doing service etc., … but the other side of the coin many times we do not see, our inner action that invites us to be creative. This is important because each face is part of the same coin, but each face must show the other side of the coin. So, pray and be examples for the other, older confreres. “He reminded us of what it means to be mystics of charity, and advised them to be mystics of charity in their provinces. With this encouragement we ended our visit – although much more than a visit for us – with an aperitif and a fraternal exchange and we set off for Piacenza.
So, this is our community. Pray for us so that we become true witnesses of God, and that Saint Vincent help us to finish our journey as he wanted.
Thanks, Father Tomaz, for your hospitality and your simplicity! Be assured of our prayers.
Finally, our thanks to everyone in Rome.
Rrok Shporaj, CM seminarian
Italian to English translation:
Dan Paul Borlik, CM
Western Province, USA