Little Sisters of Jesus, the Foucauld fraternity as a way of life

From the small community Via Salomone, they travel to Rome to take part in the canonization on 15 May. With them some Ambrose college students, led by Don Marco Fusi and Sister Sara Tamai, gospel disciples

by Claudio
URBAN

Charles de Foucauld

Charles de Foucauld

From the scaffolding that still surrounds the white houses in via Salomone, a worker looks into the apartment: “How are you? We will pray for you, ”Anna assures from within, before the man continues to work. One senses a custom. “He asked us to pray for his father,” Valeria explains. Then the window closes and Mariuccia serves the coffee. Jesus’ little sisters do not have to leave home to live their mission. Magdeleine Hutin, their founder, inspired by Charles de Foucauld, chose to live a fraternity open to the whole world. Based on the simplest and most concrete dimension of the suburbs.

Present in Rome

On May 15, the example of life is repeated for Charles de Foucauld, who will be proclaimed the saint, for all. Along with Anna, there will be in Rome some parishioners from San Galdino, the church standing right in front of the White Houses, but also a group of university students from the Diocese of Milan, led by Don Marco Fusi and sister Sara Tamai, who are part of the gospel disciples: her congregation also refers to Foucauldian spirituality.

The little sisters have lived in via Salomone since 1977, when the White Houses were born. But society has recently renewed itself. Valeria has been here for six years, while Mariuccia and Anna arrived in January. And here “there is a world to discover”, sums up Anna. A world to share farm meetings, birthdays and holidays with. Some Muslim families have invited them to dinner at the end of Ramadan, held on the premises of San Galdino. Together with other Egyptian Coptic and Eritrean families, they shared the celebration of the Orthodox Passover.

The open door

Mariuccia explains that theirs is a journey with people without making plans. “How do you give them to you?” Valeria replies. Because people can not meet at a predetermined time. “But – he exclaims – it is precisely in this everyday life that the meeting takes place, and that is the taste of the Kingdom”.

The fellowship of Jesus' little sisters

The fellowship of Jesus’ little sisters

In return, the Little Sisters have chosen to be on par with everyone also in the dimension of work. Mariuccia and Anna are retired, while Valeria is employed by a cleaning company. Even more, here comes the fact of being religious almost in the back seat, “because first in the meeting is what counts our humanity – emphasizes Valeria -. Our desire to be an open door style.” Precisely this free trust allows people to to open up and at times receive comfort: “We are certainly not psychologists, but ours is a life that wants to be deeply rooted in Christ, and I think people feel that,” states Anna. A closeness that comes into being prayer and contemplation in everyday life. “It is the second that becomes an occasion for prayer and a gift for us,” the Little Sisters explain.

The smile from Mrs. Maria is determined as she rings the doorbell and immediately sits down in the living room while answering her daughter from an old-fashioned cell phone, the kind without touch. Then the meetings begin again. It has been written about Charles de Foucauld that he was a saint because he was a brother, Valeria remembers. And “it is a joy even today to rediscover that investing in fraternity bonds is a path to a full life, open to all”.

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