Sr. Valeria Ducatelli received the missionary mandate in her parish on Sunday 15 January 2023 and is leaving for Tunisia today.
The most frequent question asked to me is if “I am ready” …. Spontaneously I would ask: “ready for what?!”. I tried to reflect on my departure and actually, for an instant, I even thought of doing something to get prepared… However, one cannot prepare much for the mission, but can prepare oneself.
The time that one lives awaiting the mission is the time in which the Lord and the experiences we have had help us to prepare ourselves to welcome the sending. It is the call to prepare to leave one’s own country in order to go to another, which someone has thought as the suitable place for us, and where the Lord calls us to bear witness to a life of total self-gift to others and to Him. The moment of destination, then, disposes us or perhaps asks us to “empty” ourselves to make us to understand that our life is made up of continuous moments of entrustment; it questions us on what we intend to leave behind and what we must take along with us.
One of the most important things I carry in my luggage is the love I have received in my life, even in those small, hidden or unexpected gestures. This love constantly questions me and makes me discern my way of loving. Therefore, what I carry with me is the “measure of a great and humble love”, which often have to die in order to bear fruit. This measure constantly serves as a warning to me, reminding me not to stop getting involved in this. It is the love of my family, sisters and confreres, the youth, people, friends, and community, and those who have helped me in various ways… . Besides, I bring with me the education to have trust in God, the invitation to have a gaze that seeks to understand safeguarding rather than judging, the invitation to let myself be taken up by the enthusiasm of what the mission will give me, also through my sisters already present in Tunisia and who await my arrival. I carry with me the prayer of willingness to let myself be changed.
The invitation that I feel most strongly now as I approach my departure is to worry primarily about meeting the Lord and to love, so that my life can become a blessing for the life of others. For me, leaving at this moment means maturing as a consecrated woman, maturing in love for people, maturing in my donation to God, maturing in doing all of this from the humble perspective of a call received, to which the Lord always refers me and to which He asks me to come back humbly. Leaving perhaps means making ourselves ever smaller in order to bring the Lord, so that we can live of him and bear witness to this to others, in the many ways that the Gospel teaches us. Make ourselves small and humble because the mission we receive as a gift “forms” us. Therefore, I open myself up to an experience that will certainly be rich, in which I do not start out alone, but in the mission of my Institute, together with my sisters. I put at the disposition what I already live now and will live for the people to whom I am sent, but also for those I leave behind. I offer everything as a great prayer of intercession, to give myself in what is to come, and with an attitude of thanksgiving, for all that I have received and what awaits me.
Sr. Valeria Ducatelli, delegation of Alger—Tunis
I am Sr. Valeria, missionary sister of the Immaculate since 2019. I am originally from Parabiago, a city in the province of Milan. From the moment I became a sister until September of this year I lived in Pioltello, in the community that we opened in December 2018. It is a community very special, interesting and challenging. Our apartmrnt is located in a building in a multi-ethnic neighborhood of the city. Here I was able to live many experiences of encounter and growth, especially in the preparation of catechumens for the sacraments, in working with young people, in Caritas, in family and missionary pastoral care. In September of this year, however, I moved to Milan, to the community of our Province headquarters, where I still live together with some 12 sisters. Here I concluded my studies and began the preparation to leave for the mission: in fact, on 17 January, I will leave for Tunisia.