This is what I was able to experience myself when I got to know the Shalom Catholic Community almost by chance thanks to someone close to me. My life of faith has always been very particular, but also very “forced”, lived in an almost “private” way: in fact, I am the only practitioner in my whole family, except for my maternal grandparents, and with all the friendships and past knowledge I’ve never had the opportunity to share my faith. So, over the years, I developed a very reserved and closed faith: I always went to mass alone, I always prayed without anyone next to me, things so in short, and immediately it seemed “strange” to have found a family with which to pray, to be together, but above all to be myself.
I still remember how unusual it seemed to me the first time I was invited to pray the rosary with them in the evening … I hardly believed it, and I felt even more amazed when I was introduced to everyone, it seemed that they knew me always. I felt at home, in the family, where we love each other, where we share everything, without feeling “wrong”.
On the second day, I got used to it a little, from the third I understood that I could no longer do without that evening appointment. To this were added the Saturday afternoon catecheses: when I followed them I was well and even there I could freely share my thoughts.
Maybe the songs and some things are a little different from my spirituality, almost all Latin, Gregorian, pipe organ and Council of Trent, but I understood that in life we must also leave aside our beliefs and our positions and open up to what is beautiful can get there. In the end, what unites us is immensely more important than all our opinions that come and go.
I felt welcomed, accepted, understood, listened to, and this means that I also felt loved as myself. Thank you very much indeed, because I haven’t experienced this for a long, maybe too long time. Within a few days many people in the community asked me for friendship on Facebook … this beautiful gesture had surprised me a lot, I felt more and more part of a family that was embracing me with more and more warmth. A boy from the community even wrote to me personally to wish me the best wishes for Easter, then we also spoke by phone. I do not hide that I cried with emotion because I felt I was the recipient of so much good, perhaps undeserved, and I praise God for this.
I went on, but everything can be summarized in a big thank you, which I address to God and the Shalom community. May God bless you and accompany you. Always!
Italy – San Vito al Tagliamento