“Seek first the Kingdom of God and his justice…”
New Year’s Day lived in a different way 2021-22
This time Covid-19 didn’t manage to stop us… or at least not completely. Three “New Year’s Day lived differently” were on the agenda: in Milan, Rome and Naples … we were only able to carry out the experience in Rome, from 28th December 2021 till 2nd January 2022, but the great team work united us all: those who couldn’t make it, embraced us in a chain of prayer and friendship and the adventure turned out truly amazing.
It was an Alternative New Year’s Day in which we felt “at home”: we met in a simple and familiar context. We tried to feel “comfortable” in order to cross our lives – like coloured ribbons – and discover the treasures – sometimes perhaps a little buried – in each of us. The real and human encounter between us, the personal and shared prayer, accompanied by the dream of St. Joseph (Mt 1,18-25), and the service at the Caritas Soup Kitchen in Via Casilina Vecchia have been the fundamental ingredients that added life to our lived … that turned it into “heaven, house, cradle” for the God with us and for the faces in which He wanted to reveal Himself, as only He knows how to do! And we are moved, grateful and happy to share with you the testimony of the youths entrusted to us, as a gift from the Lord.
Sr. Jessica, Sr.Melania, Sr. Valentina
Testimony of Maria Roberta
“I am not very good with words, and I often think 1000 times before writing something… but after a Fantastic Experience, I couldn’t fail to do it. Looking back, it all started like this: … During a dark period, I came across a (yellow and orange) poster on instagram… and so I decided to make a new experience, different from the usual routine. I thought to get involved. 😱
So I made a phone call… and then… “Alternative New year’s day… coming”!!!🏃🏻♀️
I packed my suitcase and I left with all my “mess” that I carry within me, that “mess” inside my luggage, that “mess” inside my heart, that “mess” inside my head.
I didn’t know what it all entailed, the only thing is that I was so afraid… afraid of not being up to it, of making mistakes (as usual), doubts, uncertainties… filled my head 🤯.
Despite the covid I managed to participate in the New Year’s Alternative and it has been six months … oh no… “only” six days have passed, a little more than 134 hours, 8540 intensive and full minutes which I will never forget.
You arrive without knowing anybody (or perhaps) … then you start and you stay 24 hours, a whole day with them… after a while it seems you have known them always, you serve in the soup kitchen, you learn stories, you encounter fragility (while it was hard to admit mine), experiences, lives… you even reflect yourself in something (you who hate looking in the mirror and don’t want to know), you help each other… and the days fly by.
Incredible journeys with the minibus (in vi del Mandrione), laughing uncontrollably… unforgettable and indescribable moments, just to try to understand truly what i have lived.
Now I am going back… on this train there is me, our memories… deep joy and hope, I will go back to my usual life, to my usual day, but now I am no longer alone… everyone has left a trace inside.
This experience has given me a lot and without good travelling companions like Auntie Mela, Auntie Vale, Je, Philip and Vero, it would not have been the same… Thank you very much, we have covered so many kilometres together, so many steps… and it’s only the beginning of a new journey together.
I hope that my small boat, like Joseph’s, will always be able to sail courageously towards new horizons, while abandoning everything behind and I hope to lose myself in the middle of the sea, because only by by losing myself will I be able o find myself again !
Now it’s your turn… remember that “Every end is only a new beginning”…but don’t forget …”Run, Run…” always with your head up to look at the stars. 🏃🏻♀️🏃🏻♂️✨[Cit.]
Now, you are no longer alone, Be born anew! Simply, thank you!!!
Testimony of Veronica
I participated in the Alternative New Year’s Day 2021. It was a unique and emotional experience, made of discoveries, revelations and sharing. I humbled myself and put myself at the service of the poorest. I became human and laid myself bare before God without questions, without wanting answers. I just wanted to live this experience. This is how I arrived at the Sisters of Charity. With a tough and fearful heart but it softened as the days went by.
Being at the service of the poor, of those who really need a meal, a smile, a look, a chat or simply a listening ear, gave rise to a love that I had not felt for a long time. A love that manifested itself as a child and grew during the sharing with others and also with myself. Moreover, I had the opportunity to get to know people like me, sisters and brothers who have already lived this experience in their own time and who, throughout their lives, have asked themselves and continue to question themselves. But it’s precisely behind these questions that a greater truth is hidden, which is faith. A faith that leads you ahead. That faith that does not destroy you behind life’s innumerable questions and doubts. But it’s that faith that God has given us, that is present within us and that despite the passing of time, the presence of obstacles and problems, makes you live to the full that small and poor being that is in each of us. Because, after so much wandering on earth, after so many “considerations”, I understood that in reality the poor helped me. It was I who needed them. It was I who needed to rediscover the Word of God that I already had within me. And it was precisely this heart that needed to rediscovered in order to return to life. After all, behind so many questions which have no answers, there is an ineffable reality whose experience is fundamental to rediscovering and living the faith.
That’s why I want to thank God and the Sisters of Charity, especially Sr. Melania, Sr. Valentina and Sr. Jessica, who made me understand that even in the most challenging or loneliest everyday life “we are all in the same boat, a little disoriented a a little un happy, but at the same time unique and necessary” So, together with my travelling companions Philip and Maria Roberta, let’s stop refusing! Let’s learn to accept those infinite gifts that God gives us every day.
Testimony of Philip
There are so many words that I could choose to describe my experience at the Alternative New Year, but I have preferred to use this verb, entrusted to me between the greetings of our last evening together: yes it seems to me that it well represents this journey.
First and foremost, we have to look after ourselves through dialogue and prayer, but also look after our neighbours through more or less concrete gestures.
I do not deny. I was really afraid and I had many doubts and uncertainties in embarking on this journey: as I tried to flee from myself, I was afraid to encounter myself in silence. But today I feel I can rely on parts of myself which remained for a long time unexplored, but which I rediscovered in laughter an prayer, in play and reflection, in fun and service. I was looking for a break and I found a possible turning point, I was trying to escape from my wanderings and I found the beginning of a possible path; I was look for a different way of spending New Year’s Day and I found persons ready to welcome me, travelling companions to cherish.