We offer you the story of the vocation of Sr. Chiara of the Missionary sisters of St. Charles Borromeo. She made her final profession of vows this past March 25 in Rome.

During Christmas Eve mass in 1983 in Carate Brianza (in Northwestern Italy, just north of Milan), an entrepreneur tells his friend that he is looking for someone to open an office in New York City for his high-end shoe company. The friend points out a young man in the crowd, suggesting, “Why not send him?” That young man was my father Luigi, who six months later embarked on a new American adventure with the desire to bring to the world the experience of Christian life within the movement of Communion and Liberation.
He arrived in New York without a strong grasp of English, though he quickly met other young adults and with the support of then-Cardinal O’Connor, started a School of Community with them. Shortly thereafter, my mother Suzanne, an American, met this group that got together every week over dinner in a Chinese restaurant or by meeting at St. Patrick’s cathedral, and she was so amazed by the genuineness of their friendship that from then on she never left.
Thus, from my father’s departure when he was 22 years old, an entire story was written which reached me, and soon gave birth to our entire family. After our years in New York we moved to Washington, DC, where through grace, the community that surrounded me since my birth became an even more intimate companionship in the faces of those I met in GS and in the CLU. This story eventually led to a new departure– my own– at the same age of 22. For me instead this entailed crossing the Atlantic in the other direction to enter the House of Formation of the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo in Rome in 2012.
How did it come about that I “came back” to Italy? This decision matured while I was studying History and Foreign Languages in a huge state university, the University of Maryland, College Park. The years I spent there were rich with encounters with all kinds of people, and very dramatic, wherein for the first time I became aware of the immense suffering generated by a culture that lives without Christ, and thus without meaning and without lasting love. At the same time, I lived with an ever more grateful awareness of having received everything from the hands of a good Father, and of being profoundly loved since the beginning of my existence. How could I possibly not desire that my friends too might live the same love? How could I possibly not want to offer all of myself to go to the depths of that love and make it known to everyone?
I was well aware, however, that I could not save anyone. Moreover in solitude I would have even lost myself: I needed a home that could protect and nurture and make stable and constructive my greatest desires. With gratitude I recognized in the Missionaries that home prepared for me from the beginning, where the offering of my life, though poor and fragile, could become a cornerstone in the construction of the place of Christ’s dwelling in the world. I understood that in this, the decisive factor is not the continent on which I reside, but rather in being where He calls me right now. Today, professing my vows, I am filled with gratitude for the long history that preceded me, began long before my birth. I desire to abandon myself to God, confident that he will bring to completion that which he began with us (cfr. Phil 1:6).

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