· Vatican City ·



Let’s meet together in the Wi-Fi monastery.

Città' del Vaticano (Roma), 24.09.2022.
Quarto Capitolo Monastero Wifi.
06 April 2024

It all began with a group of friends gathering together in the summer of 2018. Costanza Miriano, a writer and journalist, fondly recalls the inception of their journey as they convened over coffee in Borgo Pio, Rome. “They had come to visit me at the seaside,” she reminisces. “Since my latest book (“Si salvi chi vuole, manuale di imperfezione spiritual”, [Save Yourself, a Manual of Spiritual Imperfection] Sonzogno) delves into the necessity of cultivating a spiritual life project, our discussions naturally gravitated towards how we could support each other, despite living in distant cities, in keeping our focus steadfastly on Jesus.” In the midst of these conversations, the idea of establishing a guiding principle—a rule akin to those observed in monasteries—began to take shape.  In the midst of life’s demanding walls—marriage, parenthood, career—arose a transformative idea: to cultivate an inner monastery. Costanza Miriano astutely observes that the term “monk” derives from “monos”, meaning one. The essence of a monk's commitment to God lies in the pursuit of unity—of being singularly focused on the Divine. This unity is achieved through the direction of one's gaze, fixing it steadfastly on God. Thus, the challenge embraced by this group of friends was to live as modern-day monks amidst the mundane tasks of daily life—grocery shopping, school runs, and household chores. The key was to maintain a heart and gaze continually oriented toward God. The walls of their monastery were constructed from the timeless guidance offered by the Church: listening to God’s word, prayer, confession, attending Mass (ideally daily), and practicing fasting.

Where did the name “Monastery WiFi” originate? It was the idea of a young nun named Mother Luisa, who aptly pointed out that prayer knows no bounds and can be practiced anywhere, even while utilizing WiFi. The next step was coming together as a community. Recognizing the shared desire for deeper spiritual engagement, plans were made for a gathering in Rome. Through word of mouth, what began as a small group quickly burgeoned into a movement, attracting hundreds, then thousands of participants for the inaugural meeting dubbed the “First General Chapter of the WiFi Monastery”. Held at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, this event focused on spiritual life, featuring catechesis delivered by priests and religious. Subsequent chapters followed in the footsteps of the first, each centered around a specific theme—listening to the word of God, prayer, confession, the Eucharist—held at St Peter’s Basilica. The number of participants has increaded on each occasion. At the most recent meeting, 3,600 individuals came together from all over Italy to partake in this unexpected and deeply enriching experience.

The driving force behind the Monastery WiFi movement comprises seven friends residing in different regions. When asked if their gender played a role in their leadership, they responded  “I don’t think so. It is part of femininity to take charge of others. For us it was like this: we had a desire, to put faith at the centre, we thought of extending this proposal to as many people as possible. Isn’t Mary, after all, the one who invites people to follow Jesus?” As the movement gained momentum, it has given rise to the establishment of “local monasteries” across Italy. These gatherings, numbering more than 20, convene monthly to reflect on the themes addressed in the General Chapters or to propose new initiatives, such as the retreat for priests organized in Rome. The participation in these activities is free of charge, as they trust in Divine Providence to sustain their endeavors. As Costanza Miriano remarks with a smile, “So far, it has gone well”. (Elisa Calessi)