When the Word digs inside you and changes you… “I did not hear ‘Maria!’ but ‘Giacomo!’. That Word challenged me, it grabbed my attention.” Fr. Giacomo Pavanello recalls the beginnings
“I was at the Commissariat of Torpignattara in Rome and was asked to watch over a minor who had committed a robbery while awaiting instructions. We were in the same room and I began to talk with him about the reasons for his gesture (it was the first time he committed a crime). I remember everything about that moment: he started crying, saying he was scared, crying his eyes out, scared. I listened to him, I handed him a handkerchief: he really looked helpless. At a certain point, continuing to cry, he told me: ‘I’m afraid, could you give me a hug?’ I said no. I couldn’t, I was in uniform. But, basically, what did he ask me? A hug! A gesture that is one of the first forms of communication in the world: a newborn child is placed in the arms of the mother; it is warmth, it is continuity of love, it is tenderness, it is custody. But I had said no. Back home, I looked in the mirror and said: ‘But who are you becoming?’
Thus, Sister Tosca Ferrante, of the Apostoline Sisters – one of the Congregations founded by Blessed James Alberione (1884-1971) – recalls the moment when the Lord called her in that police station, with that frightened young underage boy. Its history, as bright as it was unpublished, has also reached the pages of L’Osservatore Romano (Articulo), touching the very heart of the Church.
“Who will help us to understand who we are called to be is around us? They are the situations of life, it is that “star” that from the outside orients us, leads us, and guides us. I strongly believe that vocation is something that we understand as we live, looking at the reality that we live in, and the poverty that surrounds us. For me, at least, it was like this: I met God in the faces and stories of the poor: I bow to them. And I thank God.”
Here is the interview of Sr Tosca in Siamo Noi.
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