Columns
from issue no.11 - 2005

The Director's mailbox



LETTERS FROM THE CONVENTS



PERPETUAL ADORERS OF THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT
Cagliari

Our life passes in the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament, which remains exposed all day

Dear Senator Andreotti,
We received with joy your magazine 30Days sent to us so kindly by you. We wish to thank you for this precious gift, and for the trust you have in the cloistered life. The Lord will never forget the good you are doing in His name and may He always be your strength and guide. May the Eucharistic Jesus be the light that directs your steps on the way of peace, that sun that rises from on high and illuminates all darkness.
Our life passes in the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament, which remains exposed all day. The fellow sisters alternate in the adoration all day and all night. In the silence of prayer and work, we obey our founding mother, Maria Maddalena dell’ Incarnazione, who transmitted her charisma to us. Now we await her beatification.
The Most Holy Virgin gives us gifts in abundance of the spiritual graces necessary for perseverance and for the witness of a life entirely dedicated to the glory of her Son.
After so many years of “silence” our novitiate is born again to new life, and in this Eucharistic Year we are gathering its fruits.
We recommend our old and sick fellow sisters to your prayers.
Our community will support you always with prayer.
Mother Maria Grazia
dello Spirito Santo and community



THE HOLY CLARES OF THE CONVENT OF SAINT AGNES
Perugia

This communion of saints is lovely and sweet

May the Lord grant you peace.
Thank you, Editor Giulio, thank you for having thought of sending your lovely magazine to the convents. It is a sign of the care you have for us. The convents are the houses of all: they are your house where a part of you lives already as inhabitants of the house of God.
This communion of saints is lovely and sweet. It is the greatest mystery of our faith for which we suffer and rejoice, fight and holiday, cry and laugh.
With affection, until the next time,
Sister Maria Chiara and the Holy Clare sisters


VISITATIONISTS OF THE HOLY MARY VISITATION CONVENT
Palermo

A proposal for 30Days: a space for brief writings on spirituality

Dear Senator Andreotti,
We are deeply grateful to you for the gift of the magazine 30Days, of which you are the director. We are especially grateful to you for the esteem you have for the contemplative life, involving us cloistered nuns in your apostolate.
In this magazine we appreciate the love of the Church and for the Church, the participation in the suffering of man, the balanced judgment about events.
Please allow us to make a proposal: to reserve a “small corner” for spirituality in the magazine: brief spiritual writings of consecrated people who have witnessed to living the problems of the world in the first person with concreteness and coherence! Pardon us! It is a discreet and humble proposal… We are convinced that being consecrated is for the world: «For them I consecrate myself» says the Lord.
We promise to you and your collaborators our constant prayerful remembrance. In Corde Iesu,
The Holy Mary Visitation of Palermo



BENEDICTINES OF THE CONVENT OF SAINT BENEDICT
Castelfiorentino, Florence

Thank you Senator Andreotti for your Christian witness and the great work for the people

Pax to the Honorable Senator, editor of the magazine 30Days, Giulio Andreotti.
Most Dear Mister Giulio and brother in the faith, the magazine 30Days, of whose existence we were unaware, arrived as a surprise to us! It is very nice, especially the articles about ecclesial life and the interesting interviews with Church personages.
I will not forget the fascinating adventure of Matteo Ricci.
But I want to compliment Mister Giulio: he works a lot, brings to fruition the talents given him by God, and he does it for his people. Thank you, Mister Giulio, for your Christian witness, onward with courage, feet on the ground, heart and mind turned to heaven! We assure you of our prayer for your family also.
Please accept the most sincere wishes in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The community of the convent and Sister O. nun



THE CAPUCHIN CLARES OF THE CONVENT OF PARMA
Parma

The gift of 30Days to us cloistered nuns is a moving intuition

Dear Senator, Giulio Andreotti,
Please accept our thanks for the magazine 30Days which we request to receive and which we admire for the solidity of its content and graphic elegance, which makes it pleasing.
With all good will so much sensibility towards us cloistered nuns was not indeed foreseeable, delicate attention that, if it has come about in today’s social and cultural context, I would say was indeed an intuition that is touching. But then only good fruit can ripen on good trees!
We cloistered nuns are a reality that does not wish to make the news, but strives to be a living and efficacious fragment in the Church and society precisely through our specific cloistered being.
Please accept then our thanks enriched by recognition and well-wishing prayer, fullness of life in the Risen Christ while we wish also the gifts of the Holy Spirit that may direct and be a light for action geared towards the common good and being Christians according to the plan of God.
With deferential regards and respectful greetings,
The Capuchin nuns



POOR CLARES OF THE SAINT STEPHEN CONVENT
Imola, Bologna

A thank-you for all you achieve before God

Peace and goodwill! Dear Senator,
While we relay our vivid thanks to you for the sending of your magazine, we assure you of our prayerful remembrance of you and your collaborators.
Please accept our esteem and great recognition of all that you have achieved before God and many brothers in Christ.
With the most distinct regards,
The Poor Clares of Imola


AUGUSTINIANS OF THE HOLY CROSS CONVENT
Figline Valdarno, Florence

The letter you sent us reminded us of that sent us by Giorgio La Pira

Dear Senator Professor Giulio Andreotti,
Et si mihi liceat Most Dear Friend and brother in Our Lord Jesus Christ, it is with great joy that I join in the choir of fellow cloistered sisters of Italy in formulating sincere thanks for your most welcome letter and for the gift of subscription to the magazine 30Days in the Church and in the World. Our library is thereby enriched with a new instrument of communication that allows us to be ever more up to date on the small and great events within the Church. Your letter, Senator, with your request for prayer, in a world where it seems that evil has prevailed over good, brings back to mind the post-war years, when the “holy mayor” Giorgio la Pira, in the most difficult times and travail for Italy and the world, sent a letter to us cloistered nuns ( I keep them all jealously): the request was always for prayer that the Lord with His Holy Spirit would enlighten those who were in control of peoples, so that they would act always with justice and charity for the good of man, made in the image and likeness of God. This gratified and enthused us because he was one of the few lay people to believe that, through the grille (and you confirm it), we can operate immensely for the good of humanity in a world where it seems that only practical activities have value. Our being religious and cloistered does not diminish our dignity as women, because within the Church we have our own very precise role, but what remains difficult is to make this understood by those who live in the dimension of the quotidian.
Your letter with your exhortation to give voice to our silences leads me to make my own the words of the lamented pontiff John Paul II: «Don’t be afraid, open, rather throw open the doors to Christ»; and I want to address, rather shout it to all young people so that they accept the invitation of Christ and become part of His following.
After more than fifty years of religious life, and along with me other fellow sisters, renew every morning on awakening our sincere and unconditioned ‘yes’ to the Lord as on the first day. How I would wish that this marvelous experience was shared and experienced by many other women who, by doing exactly as the words of our Father Saint Augustine - «Late did I love you, beauty ancient and ever new» - would discover the gift of a vocation to the consecrated life.
Thanks again for having let us know you through your magazine and for allowing me this small “outpouring” as a friend tried by human events, but who believes in the strength of prayer.
I confirm the remembrance in prayer of your particular intentions, for our beloved fatherland and for the whole world, together with great gratitude.
Most devoutly in Christ,
Sister Angelica Pruneti O.S.A.
and fellow sisters

BENEDICTINES OF THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF SAINT BENEDICT CONVENT
Catania

We read 30Days with fuller and serene heart

Dear Senator Giulio Andreotti,
Once again we feel the need to join in the unanimous choir of the cloistered nuns of Italy to say «Thank you!». We realize, more each time, the high quality of the magazine directed by you. We read with extended and serene heart what is written, because we know that what is written is true, genuine and correct, different from certain newspapers and magazines.
May the Lord bless you for your exquisite generosity in our regard, along with those who collaborate with you.
With esteem,
Mother Prioress and community



POOR CLARES OF THE MOST HOLY SAVIOR CONVENT
Fucecchio, Florence

We offer prayers and sufferings to the Lord so that he may sustain you for many years still

Dear Senator,
I am the niece of Father Agostino Zambonati, the dear uncle who asked me since I was a child to pray for you and politicians. I thank you heartily for your lovely and precious magazine.
I am still responsible for this small and suffering community. I find myself always writing at night. We offer to the Lord prayers and sufferings so that he may sustain you for many years still and so that you can be an example of strength and courage for young people and adults, with the example of your serenity and strength. In adversity you were truly strong! Best wishes, Senator! We are close to you and pray for you and those who are dear to you. Thanks again for your magazine!
May the Lord be your strength always! Most devoutly in Christ,
Sister Giovanna Maria Zanzi



DISCALCED CARMELITES OF SAINT TERESA CONVENT
San Colombano, Lucca

We thank you for the gift of the magazine 30Days that, by surprise, comes to us for some time now

Dear Senator,
Even if with some delay I come to thank you, in the name of each sister, for the gift of the magazine 30Days that, by surprise, comes to us for some time now. The magazine is very nice and helps us to look at what is happening with a trusting and prayerful viewpoint.
Particularly lovely were issues 4 and 5 dedicated, largely, to the beloved Pope John Paul II, now passed from this world to the Father, and to the new pontiff Benedict XVI respectively.
Along with our gratitude we assure you of our prayer so that the magazine will always be a faithful expression of the doctrine and life of the Church and for as long as the Lord gives you strength, health and years of life to spend still for the good of many who, even gropingly, search for light and truth.
Kind regards,
Sister Francesca Teresa di Gesù Bambino, Prioress



MINIME NUNS OF THE SAN FRANCESCO DI PAOLA CONVENT
Grottaferrata, Rome

We feel ourselves the least in the House of the Father, with a large heart that embraces the whole world

Dear Senator Giulio Andreotti,
First of all we want to thank you for the profound esteem and trust that you show towards the charisma of the contemplative life, that is for the cloistered convents, and how you value our life of prayer spent for the good of the entire world.
Thanks from the heart for your letter dedicated exclusively to us and thanks for the gift of subscription to the monthly magazine 30Days, which we appreciate for the seriousness and impartiality with which it confronts the delicate problems that harass a world ever more disoriented amid so many false prophets who try daily to demolish the sanest values to transmit the errors of new ideologies.
We hope that the magazine may find new sympathizers, who will know how to recognize the merit of a Christian magazine open to the most burning problematics of our society.
Thank you, Senator, to you and all the editorial staff. For our part we assure you of our prayerful remembrance so that the Lord may help you in this delicate task and guide you always in being able to transmit the truth, even if this often requires taking an unpopular stance. We feel ourselves the least in the House of the Father, according to our name “minime”, but with a large heart that embraces the world, and like Moses on the mountain we want to intercede with God for all our brothers who are in the world.
With esteem and in acknowledgement of you, Senator, and all of the editorial staff,
Sister Maria Concezione Sanna O.M., superior, and the Minime nuns of Saint Francesco di Paola



BENEDICTINES OF THE SANTA MARGHERITA CONVENT
Fabriano, Ancona

Jesus gives us what is useful
and necessary! Thank you for your lovely magazine

Dear Senator,
Only in these days have I noticed that the lovely magazine 30Days comes to us free and I said: thanks be to God! I liked it a great deal but our bursar had difficulty in providing for the subscription: I indeed thanked the Lord and now I thank you and your collaborators.
Jesus is goodness and infinite providence! He gives us what is useful and necessary.
We pray for peace as our holy father Benedict suggests to us: ora, labora et pax.
Most devoutly in Jesus Christ,
Mother Raffaella Pagliarini O.S.B., Abbess



VISITATIONISTS OF THE CONVENT OF THE VISITATION
Alzano Lombardo, Bergamo

Dear Senator,
We are very grateful to you for your words full of esteem and admiration for our beautiful and holy vocation, and for the most welcome gift of subscription to the monthly magazine 30Days in the Church and in the World to the cloistered communities. Thank you from the heart! We are a small community, nine sisters all advanced in years, and while with all our heart we accept the commitment to prayer and the offering of our days, we have to say that we are not in a position to offer suggestions or to collaborate directly in making the reality of the cloisters better known.
We are certain however that some others of our communities will do so for us too and we pray from our hearts also for this. We express our sincere gratitude for your goodness and interest in us and assure you of our prayerful remembrance. May God be blessed!
Mother Maria Clementina Merzi



CAPUCHIN POOR CLARES OF THE CONVENT OF SAINT JOSEPH
Mestre, Venice

Benevolence expressed in a gesture

The Capuchin Poor Clare sisters of the convent of Saint Joseph, conscious and grateful for the gift of 30Days thank Your Excellency for the benevolence expressed in that gesture towards them, and, in prayer, invoke from the Father every perpetual gift, grace and benediction extendable also to those dear to you.
From the heart,
Sister Chiara and sisters



POOR CLARES OF THE SAINT CLARE CONVENT
Limbach-Balsbach, Germany

Prayer is our voice that is raised
from silence

Dear Mister Andreotti,
Having received from you a magazine in German, we presume that you are also able to understand a letter in German.
First of all we wish to thank you wholeheartedly for sending us your magazine 30Days which we read with great interest.
You hope for a «specific contribution» and a «direct collaboration» on the part of us contemplatives. We cannot satisfy you in that way, right as it may be. Our “voice that is raised from silence” is always and however our prayer for the various needs of men, of the Church and of the world. Our benefactors, among which you along with your magazine are now numbered, are remembered in a particular way in our prayers, from the moment that we can live our contemplative life solely thanks to their help.
At times we work in a concrete way in the heart of the Church and the world, as for example, for the Year of the Eucharist, for which occasion, on the basis of our meditations, we prepared a booklet on the Most Holy Eucharist and distributed several thousands of copies of it. As a modest exterior sign of our gratitude, we permit ourselves to send you a copy in German and one in Spanish. Unfortunately we don’t have copies in Italian and those in Spanish are nearly finished.
A sign of gratitude towards you will furthermore be our prayer for you and your work in the Church and the world. May God bless you!
With gratitude,
Sister Ancilla Fischer, Abbess



TRAPPISTS OF THE CONVENT OF GETHSEMANE
Dannenfels-Pfalz, Germany

We live in the northern area
of the Palatinate, in the fullness
of the diaspora, in a heavily
secularized situation

Dear Senator Giulio Andreotti,
We thank you infinitely for your letter and the sending of the gift subscription to your interesting monthly magazine 30Days in the Church and in the World, both courteously in German.
You ask us to contribute in two ways to your activity. I wish to assure you willingly of our prayer in support of your competent and valid work of information about the Church and the world.
We also acknowledge your positive evaluation of our contemplative monastic life.
On the other hand, I find it difficult to outline what future developments might be. I do believe, however, that our Holy Father is right when he says that the problem is not so much the “clash of civilizations”; in the future the issue will instead be that between those who believe in God and those who don’t; because of this I greatly appreciate your openness towards a dialogue, marked by truth and love, with men of every religion and culture.
In Europe we are faced with the continuous weakening of the Christian faith. The Church has the arduous task, on the one hand, of making the faithful steadfast in their faith and, on the other, of keeping the dialogue open – as already happens in Italy – with those who are preoccupied about what values should be the basis on which to construct the foundations of our society. This represents a challenge also for the convents, as places of spiritual life in the Church.
We live here, in the northern area of the Palatinate, in the fullness of the diaspora, in a heavily secularized situation. On the one hand, we have direct and painful experience of what separates Catholics and Protestants; on the other, the Protestant communities also appreciate our artistic works and our vestments, our presence in general, and so stimulating exchanges of ideas about the spiritual life often arise. In our small guest quarters we receive whoever wishes, in an atmosphere of silence, to pray with us and deepen their own faith.
As a monastic community that lives according to the rules of Saint Benedict we take particularly to heart a dignified celebration of the liturgy, because it is there that the mystery of God’s giving of Himself in gift to man is manifested. Our work also serves for this, the artistic creation of vestments. Our vestments are the fruit of our service to the Word of God, their creation is accompanied by prayer, and should help the faithful enter into the spirit of the liturgy. Because of this our vestments also witness to the announcing of the Gospel.
However – and here I come to your question about our way of understanding the cloister -, in order to be able to render this service to God and to His Church, it becomes necessary for us to stay “at home”. I think of that which Saint Gregory the Great intended to say, when he said of the father of monasticism Benedict: «He lived with himself». This stabilitas – by which not only the place is meant, but rather more the dwelling of the heart in God – is as important today as during the times of the barbarian invasions. Moreover the life of the cloister favors and assures stabilitas, and reinforces fidelity.
This stabilitas, the remaining faithful to a place, to a community, to a choice of life for God, is an important witness for the men of our unquiet times. It is above all a witness to the existence of God, from the moment that, without our faith in God, living a contemplative monastic life would not only be illogical, but also impossible. The famous words of Saint Augustine always remain valid: «You have made us for Yourself and our heart is restless until it rests in Thee» [Confessions 1,1, trans.]
We accompany you and those associated with you in prayer, and wish you divine blessings for your activity. You can always count on our prayers!
With acknowledgement,
Sister Prassede Dalpke O.C.S.O.





Italiano Español Français Deutsch Português