Sister Teresa Zampogna, one of the missionary sisters of St. Charles Borromeo, pronounced her final vows on April 9th, in Rome. This is the story of her vocation.

I was born and raised in the wonderful land of Liguria. Ever since I was child, the beauty of the sea, with its great horizon, as well as the Catholic education I received in my family, helped mature an awareness of God present in my life. My father and mother raised my brother and I with love and care: the former through his constant presence, which was normally silent, and his gratuitous giving of self; the latter, through her love of what is beautiful and though her relentless Calabrian character.

One of the most significant experiences of my life happened during my first day of high school, in Chiavari, where I encountered Christ through the embrace of a girl in my class. I didn’t know anyone; however, I immediately recognized that girl’s group of friends. I was sitting in the front row. I felt someone “tap” my shoulder and when I turned around I saw a happy face that welcomed me with a smile. This gratuitous deed was the beginning of everything. These classmates of mine were truly friends and friends as well with Fr. Pino, our Religion teacher who was also the adult who lead GS. They began inviting me to study with them, to eat with them, and to join them for an occasional hike or meeting. I accepted their invitations with simplicity and joy. Finally, I had found what I was looking for since middle school: a friendship that was beautiful and true. When I finished high school, given my passion for Math, as well as the curiosity to discover how things are made, I decided to study Biomedical Engineering at Genova. During this time in college, I lived and grew a great deal thanks to the companionship of a few close friends. It was during those years that I began to intuit the vocation to virginity as something real for me. I wanted to give my life to Christ who had come to meet me and who had given me everything. I desired to love people in a truer way, in the way He loved us. Another decisive part of my story was the evening of singing with the Fraternity of St. Charles at the Meeting of Rimini in 2006, where I was struck by the joyful faces of all those people who were truly enjoying life, giving it all to Christ. I wanted to live like that! Following the advice of Fr. Matteo, I entrusted the intuition I had to Mary, intent on seeing whether it would flourish. Both the period before graduating and the year I spent working in Milan were very decisive: even though the passion for my studies remained, I felt called to serve Christ within the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles. In August of 2010, I arrived in Rome, to what would become my new family.

Today, as I receive the gift of being able to pronounce my final vows to God within the Missionary Sisters, I remember with immense gratitude the journey of these years of formation, beautiful and intense, following the guidance of Fr. Paolo and Sister Rachele; years in which the Lord has changed my mind and heart. When I arrived to Rome, I had lots of images and projects, which were all good, and yet, in ways I did not expect, Christ used this time to help me live a deeper relationship with Him, making me aware of my need for conversion, so that I might be conquered by Him. I discovered the beauty of abandoning myself to the One who has loved me and preferred me as I am, even dying on the cross for me. Last August I was destined to our House in Denver, where I live with other sisters who share the same missionary passion: that the people we have been sent to meet might encounter the living Christ and discover how much they are loved by Him.

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