On the 9th of April, solemnity of the Annunciation, sisters Marilù Arbesu Barahona, Annie Devlin, Maria Anna Sangiorgio and Teresa Zampogna pronounced their final vows. We would like to share the stories of their vocations, beginning with Marilù.

Looking back at on my story, I have to thank God for the way he has loved me and come close to me through many encounters. First, through our Lady of Guadalupe. Then, through my parents, who baptized and lead me in the faith, above all with their witness. The sisters at school who explained how Jesus is always present in the tabernacle: this discovery was the beginning of my personal relationship with Christ. I had my first confession and first communion the same day and I understood that, to welcome the Lord, I needed to prepare my heart, entrusting myself to his mercy. In Sr. Elena and Fr. Anselmo, two friends of my parents who were close to me, I saw a joy that made me desire to be like them.

I was still a little girl when my parents met the movement of Communion and Liberation: during the moments we lived together, I perceived that there was something bigger that united those people that I met. When I arrived to high school, I was not satisfied just following: I needed to grow in the faith. For this reason, the Movement became something for me. I was struck by the way they stayed together, and I felt taken seriously and loved. The attention to beauty, the way everything was ordered, was a beautiful discovery. During university, I met a girl who came from a family of the Movement; given the number of those in the community in Mexico, I can say that it was really a miracle. Eva belonged to the beautiful community of Coatzacoalcos, one of the three biggest in the country, founded more than thirty years ago thanks to the fidelity of a group of women. The two of us were very faithful to the gestures of the Movement. We always invited those we had met in university, but without great results. The two of us lived the life of the Movement that was proposed to us intensely, even arriving to the experience of forgiveness and fraternal correction. During that time, our desire was to see the Movement grow: today I realize that this happened, not in the crowds we hoped to encounter, but in our own growth. In those years, the responsible of the university students in Mexico was Fr. Franco, a priest of the Fraternity of St. Charles Borromeo. I had also met a few seminarians who had lived in Mexico certain periods. Seeing them, I desired to find a place in which I might be educated in the same way. When one of them, Ruben, told me that there also existed the missionary sisters of St. Charles, I discovered again the mercy of God, who, while provoking a great desire in my heart, was simultaneously preparing a place to welcome Him.

Among the Missionary Sisters, I felt at home, both in the period spent in Rome and in the years in Reggio Emilia, serving Bishop Massimo. I understood that my stability coincides with my belonging to the Missionary Sisters. The beauty that moved me in the Movement now takes up every moment of my day, from the way we pray to the way we set the table.

These days, I am learning that sanctity is possible, but that we cannot arrive by ourselves. The communion that I live with my sisters, above all these past few years, has helped me to discover that an embrace and forgiveness pass through the sharing of life. Now, I want to serve the Lord in the world, beginning with the United States, where I will be in a few months.

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