After a week of hard work, Sunday, the long-awaited day of rest arrived! Sisters chose different ways to enjoy the day. The Eucharist was celebrated Saturday evening to allow those going to Rome to catch the early buses and trains… Picnics had been prepared for those going out.
The day rose magnificently, with a shining sun, birds singing, and a gentle breeze caressing the many trees surrounding the property of Fraterna Domus in Sacrofano where we are holding the Chapter.
After breakfast many sisters headed off to catch the bus, which would take them to the train station… It turned out that going to Rome from Sacrofano was quite an adventure… The nearest stop was crowded and the bus too small to accept the sisters. So, a few walked back the 2 km dreaming of eating an ice-cream, in Sacrofano, while others continued by foot to the train to Rome. Some ended in the market, others visited friends, a group went to the Vatican where they arrived too late for the Angelus, but they were happy to visit St. Peter square and the Basilica. For those going to the Missionaries of Africa, arriving in Rome they took the metro without knowing where to step down. But they found two guardian angels in the form of an Italian retired couple who, seeing two African women a bit lost, invited them to sit with them and told them they had visited many African countries and that they would help them find the way to the house of the Missionaries of Africa. This was just to return the welcome they had received everywhere in Africa. They searched the way with their phone and were even ready to accompany the sisters if needed. They showed the sisters which station they had to get off the metro and the way to follow ‘till the Missionaries of Africa. There they had the joy of meeting many brothers they had known in various mission countries.
Sunday was the day of the departure of Sr. Carol and the two lay-coordinator-representatives. Mrs. Marina van Dalen from the Netherlands was the first to leave. Sr. Carol and Mrs. Vanessa Gil’s farewell was MSOLA style, all those in the house came out to say goodbye, embracing, laughing, remembering… There were mixed feelings: of joy for the time spent together and the experiences lived and for going back home, and sadness for the end of the experience here and for saying goodbye to those remaining. However, there was much rejoicing for everything lived during the week, the old friends met and the new friends made and for feeling as a sister among sisters.
After the farewell, a group of sisters went for a walk admiring the green hilly countryside full of colourful flowers… enjoying the scenery and the company… After eating their sandwiches under a tree facing a flowery meadow, they went back along the private road where a car passed from time to time… At the foot of a steep slope, when the sisters were thinking about the difficulty of the ascent, a bus stopped to ask if they were going to Fraterna Domus, offering to take them there. Of course, they accepted… They had an air-cooled trip and a bus just for 6 sisters, thanks to the kindness of the driver of Asian origin who cared for this group of women walking up the hill under a hot sun. We thanked God and the driver for this unexpected gift.
In the afternoon we could see a number of sisters in groups of two walking on the beautiful grounds of Fraterna Domus enjoying the holiday and the surroundings.