My name is Sara Ferretti, I am 29 years old and I am a member of the Shalom Catholic Community, as an Covenant Community. I live in Rome, but my family of origin lives in a small village north of Rome, Sant’Oreste.
When the lock-down due to Covid 19 was announced by the government, I went back to my parents’ house and lived my quarantine here.
The first few days were very difficult, I felt disoriented, I was afraid of what “tomorrow” would have been.
As the days passed, praying, I asked the Lord how I could be a missionary in that situation, what He wanted me to give him in that Lent / Quarantine.
In one of the catecheses listened to by our founder, I was struck by the fact that we made humanity’s evil, suffering, make it our own and pray incessantly, asking the Holy Spirit for his strength and above all his creativity.
Then I remembered the origins of my Community, born from a “pizzeria to evangelize“, a place where anyone could feel at home, and not only eat a sandwich, but above all find friends, find people who are there for you, who they listen to you, who suffer with you and laugh together with you, and who bring you to God, despite their frailties and the situations that life puts before us and to which not even we, missionaries, consecrated persons can give an answer. But we can be there, we can get close.
Mindful of this experience lived by my founder, Moysés Azevedo, I thought about the world of social networks, the only virtual “public place” of these months, which are social networks and the only means to communicate with many people at the same time, direct Facebook and Instagram. I have never been a person who loves the virtual world, I like relationships, closeness to people, so before now I had never started a direct or virtual connection with many people, except the bare minimum.
Yet in the face of so much suffering, so much desire to communicate to people, especially young people, that we are not alone, I created a small virtual event called “Shalom pizza challenge“. For half an hour I got involved I did a tutorial on how to knead the pizza and between one passage and another I told how my Community was born, from that special “pizzeria”, where the sandwiches had biblical names and where behind the kitchen there was a chapel where everyone could find Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament exposed.
I invited people to post their pizzas once they are ready and to give them a biblical name. It was a great opportunity for me to get out of myself, to do something I never thought I’d do. But it is the Holy Spirit that pushes us and it does not matter if we do not understand immediately, it does not matter how many people have watched the live broadcast, but it is important to have obeyed the breath of the Spirit. It is not for us to see the fruits, but only to sow.
During this quarantine, in addition to the media, which gave me the opportunity to evangelize, it was important to be close to the young people I know, listen to them, accompany them, be close to them. By being locked in the house and with no other means than a call or a message, I understood what it means to “be Shalom”, “to be Church”, “to be missionaries”, and not just do. It was nice to see how the Church is not a building, a structure, but we are each of us and that even within four walls we can and must give ourselves, yes, we must, because only by giving oneself is one fully happy. The struggles have been and there are, but there is a certainty: God is with me, God is with us, He does not leave us. Everything can change but He always remains the same: strong God, Comforter, Faithful.
Translation: Michele Volzone