Sister Eleonora, who will pronounce her solemn vows on April 4th, tells the story of her vocation.

Some of the best memories of my childhood are of the evenings I spent playing games and singing with my parents and other young families in the Milan neighborhood where I was born. Those evenings always concluded with a prayer together. One of our fathers would list all of the people who were in particular need of God’s help, and the situations in the world that we should keep in our hearts during the Hail Mary (our Polish friends who were suffering, the priest who had left for Argentina, etc.). Thus my sister and I began right from the start to breathe the life of the Church, with the particular contours given it by the life of CL, and to belong to something that was much greater than us and which opened up our horizons. This seedling of an experience flowered in time, with different nuances, until it grew to take on the characteristics of my vocation.

I had the grace of attending schools founded with missions inspired by the educational experience of Fr. Giussani. At these schools I began to discover true friendships, such as one particularly meaningful with Lucia, a girl with Down Syndrome who showed me the beauty of abandoning oneself to the love of God inside tiny, everyday things.

In September of 2003 I began my studies in Medicine. My first exams presented very difficult obstacles, but my CLU friends took turns helping me study. In time, the exhaustion was replaced by a huge gratitude for such a concrete act of charity. It was a gratitude for the education we had received together that had opened us up to the world, had interested us in everything that was happening around us, and had made us passionate about our studies and our future work as physicians. My experience in the Oncology ward intensified my need to give myself to help people know the meaning of their lives, a meaning which I had encountered. Thus, I began to desire more and more that all people could take part in the friendship that had taken hold of my life, and to be fascinated by the prospect of giving my life for my friends.

At the meeting of Rimini in 2006, I met the Fraternity of St. Charles, and in particular Fr. Emanuele Silanos. At that time I heard him say, “We do not go on mission out of a sense of activism, but rather to bring the communion we live, where God dwells among us, into the world.” In these priests I saw men that were free because they were sons and friends, each in love with Christ, each in his own unique way. This was the first time I desired to lived exactly as they did. The following year I met Sister Rachele. Through our conversations I started to understand that perhaps the Lord was preparing a place for me where I could live out His relationship of preference for me through communion with other women who shared the same desires I had.

From 2010 onward, those women became my sisters. I share everything with them: all of the gifts God has given me as well as my limits and my sin. We pray, study, work, go on mission, take care of our home, walk on the path toward conversion, and experience the grace of forgiveness—together. Looking at my home, I can truly affirm that the love of God is a faithful love. To this love, I want to respond definitively, forever.

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