Candles on the windowsills of the convent in Gualdo Tadino

"We are daughters, we are not alone"

In Gualdo Tadino, in Umbria, a convent is in difficulty as the nuns have been infected by Covid. Peppe talks about the move to help them, and he speaks of hope, which through candles on windowsills, illuminates the whole town.

In my city there is an institute of Oblate Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus who over the years have educated entire generations in their school. For some years now, we have been in contact with them thanks to the Solidarity Bank and a beautiful friendship has flourished.

Last week I received a phone call from the Superior who asked me for urgent food aid for the convent. They had all been infected by Covid and were in isolation, so could not go out. We immediately set in motion and, in the days that followed, by word of mouth, many other people went shopping for them.

The nuns, with a few exceptions, are all over 85 years old. The first thought I had was to ask myself how they will manage to get out of this difficult situation, given their age, and who might help them. What surprised me the most, however, was their boldness, the certain gaze that they always have, and have even more so today. I was also struck by the continuous telephone dialogue with some of them, about what allows them to live this moment of suffering. "You see Peppe, we are locked in the rooms, but we are not alone. We are His daughters, our whole life serves and is in His hands. Even the Lord was not spared the cross. It is only our relationship with Jesus that allows us to live what is happening, just as He also lived His passion thanks to the relationship He had with the Father."

This is what it means to be children. In the nuns, I have glimpsed what we always tell each other, that the experience of fatherhood is true now. It is in the circumstances that we live, it is within a present relationship, and it is not a question of age.

Read also – “Have we really been defeated?”

Their testimony spread throughout the city when one day, at dusk, suddenly on the windowsills of the convent, in the historic centre and visible from every corner of the city, their windows were lit up by candles, signalling the rooms in which the sisters are fighting against the virus. A sign of hope for everyone, now when we need it the most.

Peppe, Gualdo Tadino, Italy