“The coronavirus has shaken us and caused us to tremble, but it has also brought with it hope for a new normalcy in which the women religious of Africa can be appreciated for the charisms and gifts they offer to the Church. This new normal hoped for by the women religious is the achievement of a formation open to all – and one that includes the study of a diversity of disciplines such as theology, philosophy, civil and canon law. It is hoped that this type of formation will empower and liberate the sisters”. This is the testimony of Sister Edelquine Shivachi, of the Little Sisters of St Francis, which can be read in Donne autrici di un’altra storia [Women Authors of Another Story] edited by Anna Moccia and Claudia Giampietro, published byTav. An agile and precious book explained by the subtitle Un mosaico di voci per ripensare il presente [A Mosaic of Voices to rethink the Present]. Preface and afterword signed by two women religious who in the last year have received assignments from Pope Francis: Sister Alessandra Smerilli, acting secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and Sister Nathalie Becquart, under-secretary of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.
Thirty women, thirty lives. Religious and laywomen, cultures and religions and different continents who, as Smerilli points out, “darn, each other in their own way. This is the strip of the wounded humanity that surrounds us and in which we also walk; there are those who do it with prayer and those who do it in concrete action in favor of the lowliest and least fortunate of the Earth”. There’s Sister Nuala Kenny, of the Sisters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul: a retired pediatrician, bioethicist, and lecturer whose research concerns aging, end-of-life care and the Church’s treatment of the crisis of sexual abuse perpetrated by the clergy. here’s Dominique Corti, a doctor at St Mary’s Hospital Lacor in Uganda, founded sixty years ago by her parents Piero and Lucille. There are the women too who are committed against trafficking, for the defense of the environment, against wars, in cars for migrants and prisoners...
“Life manifested through these thirty stories”, Becquart writes, “This life embodied, recognized, and defined women from the beginning. This life disrupted, tried, abused by violence, suffering, illness, isolation”. .
Dedicated to Sister Elisabetta Flick, who died during the pandemic, the book is illustrated (beautifully) by Simone Barretta. The proceeds will be donated to the Chaire Gynai project, Benvenuta donna, coordinated by the Scalabrinian Missionary Sisters, for women in vulnerable situations. [WCW]