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From "My Spiritual Diary"



Looking through my spiritual writings. I found notes when, for about 10 years, I ministered to the residents of a nursing home by bringing them Holy Communion on Saturday mornings. Allow me to share with you a page or two from these notes that date back to the eighties. 


A day as Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.


“Today we are fortunate to have with us Father Carlo Bertola who is visiting from Italy. He is a beautiful person and a wonderful priest.


I ask him to bring the Blessed Sacrament to the elderly, but he humbly chooses to let me do it. We leave the parish grounds with Joe and Artie, fellow-extraordinary ministers of communion.

Father Carlo, wearing his Roman collar, is bringing the oil of the sick to anoint our elderly friends at the Central Island Nursing Home in Plainview, NY.


Today they will have the good fortune of receiving two sacraments and experiencing the presence of a priest. I am extremely delighted to go and, when the four of us enter the building, we notice a look of surprise on the faces of nurses and aides.


From two we had become three people in the past two months and today we were four visitors from the church! For Father Carlo it was his first pastoral experience in a nursing home.


He did not know what to expect, butI learned afterwards that he felt a renewal of his priestly vocation. He gave communion to Ann and Maria and then anointed them. You should have seen these two ladies with the palms of their hands opened while the priest traced on them the sign of the cross with holy oils!


There was a surrender in those hands extended wide-opened: a faith sincere and profound, a true act of humility and hope. “Are you happy to have Father Carlo visit you today?” I repeated smiling to Maria. “Yes,” she responded. “May the Lord repay you all with a good, peaceful old age!”


Before leaving, Ann insisted on kissing Father Carlo’s hand, who gladly consented. It was truly a moment of pure joy and tears when Father Carlo did likewise to her and Maria.


For Father Carlo and for us our visit was truly a real spiritual experience! As we moved to the second floor Joe asked me to distribute the Holy Eucharist to show Father Carlo the way we did the short ceremony on our Saturday’s visits.


What is delightful is the informal way our Lord approaches his people through our actions, caring attention, chit-chatting and quiet listening. Jesus is not in a hurry. He understands when Mary and Peter have something to say while we are praying. The formulas become secondary whenI talk to them in simple terms that they can appreciate and comprehend. Father looks at us with amusement deep surprise.


We are ministering to God’s people and living our faith. Artie is pushing gently a wheelchair; Joe is filling cups with water and distributing cigarettes to the men. We are smiling and conversing.

Every simple action emanates an atmosphere of interior peace. Father Carlo anointed also other residents and gave communion to Michelina. When we left the Nursing Home we all felt renewed and fulfilled as we traveled back to our Lady of Mercy Parish Church.


____________________________________________________________


Sfogliando i miei scritti spirituali ho trovato degli appunti di quando, per circa 10 anni, ho servito i residenti di una casa di cura portando loro la Santa Comunione il sabato mattina. Permettetemi di condividere con voi una o due pagine di questi appunti che risalgono agli anni Ottanta.



Un giorno da Ministro Straordinario della Santa Comunione.



“Oggi abbiamo la fortuna di avere con noi padre Carlo Bertola in visita dall'Italia. E' una bella persona e un meraviglioso sacerdote. Gli chiedo di portare il Santissimo agli anziani, ma lui sceglie umilmente di lasciarlo fare a me.


Lasciamo il parco della parrocchia con Joe e Artie, compagni straordinari. Per padre Carlo e per noi la nostra visita è stata davvero una vera esperienza spirituale!


Mentre ci spostavamo al secondo piano, Joe mi ha chiesto di distribuire la Santa Eucaristia per mostrare a padre Carlo come abbiamo fatto la breve cerimonia durante le nostre visite del sabato.

Quel  che è delizioso è il modo informale in cui nostro Signore si avvicina al suo popolo attraverso le nostre azioni, l'attenzione premurosa, le chiacchiere e l'ascolto tranquillo.


Gesù non ha fretta. Capisce quando Maria e Pietro hanno qualcosa da dire mentre preghiamo. Le formule diventano secondarie quando parlo con loro in termini semplici che possono apprezzare e comprendere. Il padre ci guarda con divertimento e profonda sorpresa.


 Ministriamo il popolo di Dio e viviamo la nostra fede. Artie sta spingendo dolcemente una sedia a rotelle; Joe sta riempiendo bicchieri d'acqua e distribuendo sigarette agli uomini.


Stiamo sorridendo e conversando. Ogni semplice azione emana un'atmosfera di pace interiore. Padre Carlo unse anche altri residenti e diede la comunione a Michelina.


Quando abbiamo lasciato la casa di cura, ci siamo sentiti tutti rinnovati e realizzati mentre tornavamo alla chiesa parrocchiale di Nostra Signora della Misericordia.


“Il mio diario spirituale” 27 agosto 1977


 

 
     
Edizione RodAlia - 01/12/2021
pubblicazione consultata 145 volte
totale di pagine consultate 763920
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