Whenever I go to Alba, the diocese of my youth, I always drop into the cathedral to visit Jesus in the Eucharist. There, I read the words inscribed on the little door of the tabernacle: Come to me, all of you It is an invitation that has always fascinated me because of the way I was formed as a Daughter of St. Paul. In fact, for the FSPs there are no limits concerning the “knowledge” to write about and publish in the world of communication. Nor are there any limits to the “recipients” to whom we should address our message. St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “I have made myself all to all so as to win over as many as possible” (cf. 1 Co. 9:19).
The years of my formation were an interweaving of hours dedicated to study, work and prayer and, if necessary, also an interweaving of daytime and nighttime hours because the material I typed into the linotype machine was destined to go beyond the doors of our convent….
After I finished my studies, I was sent to Spain, a country with a powerful missionary thrust. Even during our formative years, we younger sisters thought about all the Spanish-speaking people who would receive our publications…. Later I was transferred to Argentina, given the fact that I already knew that language. Besides my apostolate as a formator, I also worked in the editorial office of Familia Cristiana–the most widely-read Catholic periodical in the country (over 100,000 copies printed each month!) and eventually I became the magazine’s director. I would correct page proofs in my office and then go down to the typography to transfer the corrections from paper onto lead slugs at the linotype. A succession of young sisters were appointed one after another to various governing duties. After my years in Argentina, I spent a short time in Peru, where I helped to stabilize the administration sector, which was a little shaky, and then dedicated myself to promoting our Pauline products in other countries and setting up book centers–a theological “place” of proclamation–to be entrusted to the laity. I also continued with formation work and “oral preaching” by means of conferences….
I returned to Italy in 1975 and was immediately assigned to the Ut Unum Sint Center. I participated in our 1978 General Chapter and when it ended I was asked to join the team of the International Commission for the Rediscovery of the Charism, which had been set up at the request of the Chapter itself. While carrying out this service, I went to Bogota, Colombia to hold animations for our sisters of Latin America, after which I went to Spain to do the same thing for the FSPs of Europe and North America.
After that, up until 1998, I helped to animate various courses of spiritual exercises organized by our Italian Province. Within this timeframe I also served as superior of our Verona community (1980-1987). During my time in that community, there was an effective interweaving of activities entrusted to very competent sisters: the St. Paul Film Agency, two book centers, vocation work (the 5 young women who entered at that time are very active perpetual professed sisters today), participation in the diocesan office for communications and culture, collaboration with the laity…. We also had the grace to accompany, as a community, a sister in the last stage of her earthly pilgrimage.
The 24 years I spent working at USMI (Union of Women Major Superiors–Italian National Division) (1991-2015) were an expression of who I am and what I live. I worked on the Union’s periodical, Consecration and Service, and the supplements related to it, as well as in its Press Office, on its information bulletin, its website (www.usminazionale.it) and the preparation and publication of news flashes. I also worked in the Union’s library, which was frequented by students from foreign countries, where I advised them concerning the selection of texts for their theses and how to organize their material. I like to think that after these students returned to their own countries, they went on to serve as opinion leaders among their people.
Another interweaving: from home, I am currently contributing input to our FSP websites www.tuttoperilvangelo.it and www.paoline.it, and also translating books from Spanish into Italian for our publishing house here in Italy. Some of this work involves the collaboration of my sister Myriam, also a Daughter of St. Paul.
My whole life has been a challenging interweaving between the Lord of life and myself. As St. Paul wrote to the Ephesians: “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works which God has already designated to make up our way of life” (Eph. 2:10).
Sr. Bianca Rosa Magliano, fsp