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Jun 28, 2009

Finally I have found a moment to write a new message. For a week we were away from Florida on a trip up north in the VA, PA, NJ area where we had a chance to visit with almost all the families from region 1,2, 3, and 4. We had a great meeting that began with Mass and lasted all day. The families all brought a delicious pot luck lunch that could have fed an army! It was great to see all of them and to be able to talk in a small group compared with what we normally do at the big retreats with 300+ people. It gave us also a chance to visit a little more and get to know each other better. We really appreciated the hospitality of the families where we spent the night.
After we went to Newark, NJ, to be there for the 25 anniversary of the priesthood of Fr. Glenn Sudano of the CFR’s, an order that has been very close to us because they keep on coming to our Community houses to give days of recollection. It was a very beautiful Mass. Then they had a very Italian reception and more hours of celebration into the evening with dances, music, and skits very similar to what we do in our Community in special occasions.
Then we drove back to Florida and spent a few days in the houses here, where the guys and girls in these days are experiencing the sweltering heat of Florida with some days of 100 degree temperatures with mosquitoes that are always hungry. Pretty much everyone seemed in good spirits and trying to live Community well.
Just a few days later Michele and I we left for Peru to visit our mission there. It was a beautiful experience, as it always is. It is moving for everyone who goes. I had the chance to spend almost a week in all three houses going from place to place and seeing all our missionaries. We have pretty much almost 60 kids from age 0 to 15 years old, plus the missionaries, so it is a pretty big family that we have there. Most of life in the mission is pretty busy, because the children need a lot of attention and many of them have a lot of medical problems. A daily occurrence is taking them to the hospital or clinic and facing the reality of long lines just to get in.
To give you an example, one day at Villa Salvador—our house that is located in the poorest area—two of the girls took one little boy Elia, who is maybe 15 months old, to have some neurological tests at the ninos hospital in Lima. They left at 5:30 a.m. from the house, drove for over an hour in the confusing and out of control traffic of Lima, and then stood in lines for four hours outside the hospital. Finally they got the tests done and arrived home at 3 p.m. That is part of the daily life that our missionaries face over there. We also have a three year old who has been in the hospital for the a month and, so far, no one can figure out what is going on with him. Some of the girls are taking shifts to be there during the day. There is just so much to do outside the Community between getting supplies, going to the doctor and hospital, pollution, traffic and the chaos of Lima. It can really drain you.
One morning I left at 7 a.m. from our house in the mountains, St. Eudalia, to go to Lima for meeting with the Bishop and then different errands in the city. Then in the afternoon we were looking at vans for one of the houses, because our cars and van are really in the bed shape, breaking down all the times. We are grateful that Providence is always one step ahead, showing us the way. We spent pretty much all day driving from place to place looking for the right vehicle and the right price.
One of the beautiful things at the mission is to see the children and how happy they are and fortunate to be there. We have created even in very poor areas some great areas where they can play run and be kids. They are really well care for by our missionaries. It will be great to take some of you one day to visit the mission houses.
Here in Florida, we have just transferred our first two girls from St. Maria Goretti to Italy. Mary and Gaby, just left with Emilia’s parents to go to Milan and then will go to the house of Marene close to Saluzzo. It is a big accomplishment for the girls, and we are ready for some more to enter to the Community. Please pray for all those that are preparing to go to the Festival in Italy on July16-20. We will send you guidelines for it. You can also look on the website where you will find more info about the Festival.
Happy to be back!

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