The blessing of the San Masseo monastery in Assisi

On Thursday 27 October we received the unexpected gift of the visit at San Masseo of the ecumenical patriarch Bartholomew I and the archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams


The ecumenical patriarch Bartholomew I and the archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams at San Masseo

On Saturday, 22 October 2011, bishop Domenico Sorrentino of Assisi, with the former metropolitan of Perugia, Giuseppe Chiaretti, and the former bishop of Assisi, Sergio Goretti, presided at the eucharistic liturgy for the blessing of the monastery in Assisi, thus marking the beginning of a stable presence of our brothers there.

At the beginning brother Enzo recalled the long and difficult course that has brought us to this day, from the '60s, when he used to visit the Pro Civitate Christiana, a long period of time, which has been above all an occasion to experience again, in diverse ways, the Lord's faithfulness and inexhaustible mercies, by far more than what we can see and what we could have hoped for.

In his homily bishop Domenico spoke words that touched us deeply, of fatherly welcome and lively joy at our presence, greatly awaited and desired - a presence that we want to maintain simple and essential. He showed us his and the local Church's entire confidence and encouraged us on our monastic way of following the Lord.

Numerous friends and guests took part in this festive moment, those who in various ways have been and continue to be close to us with their affection and attention. Among them we may mention archbishop Renato Boccardo of Spoleto, the sisters of Cumiana, our dearest friends of the Cittadella of Assisi who during these years have always been close to us, fr. Luigi Gioia and fr. Oliveto of the Olivetan monks, the Benedictine monks of San Pietro, the Benedictine nuns of San Giuseppe, the abbess of the Poor Clares of Santa Colette, the Sisters of the Incarnate Word, the Little Sisters of Jesus, other nuns and sisters, the vicar general don Maurizio, other priests of Assisi, Franciscans, the mayor of Assisi.

Filled with a spirit of thanksgiving, we ask all our friends and guests to pray to the Lord tat also as monks in Assisi we may seek to live the Gospel in communion with other Christians and in the company of men.