Who are we?

A community
in exodus

We are Scalabrinian Secular Missionary Women, a Secular Institute within the Catholic Church.
In our diversity of origins and cultures we are gathered together by the same vocation, following Jesus on the paths of the human exodus of our times, and by a history which began in Solothurn (Switzerland) in 1961 in a Scalabrinian migration context.
We live in small communities in the International Centres "G.B. Scalabrini", where, together with young people and friends of different nationalities, cultures and religions, we wish to make room for that communion in the diversity that is our dream for the whole world.

A gift to share

At the beginning of our story was not only an answer to a social need, but rather a sense of wonder before a great and overwhelming experience of love: an amazement that has never lessened and is today livelier than ever.
Most prominent in our missionary life is gratitude for the gift of God who calls us to live a consecrated life following Jesus in the world of migrants and refugees. In this calling we experience the ever surprisingly novelty of His love in the welcoming of the Crucified and Risen Jesus as recognised in every migrant and refugee and in all that is foreign, unexpected and hostile: "I was a stranger and you welcomed me. Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me." (s. Mt 25: 35, 40)

Beginning of a story

Our community began in 1961 in Solothurn with Adelia Firetti, a young teacher from Piacenza. She arrived in Switzerland invited by the Scalabrinian Missionaries to teach the children of migrants, but also because she was moved by a deep search for faith. Due to difficulties which occurred with the institutions, the school was in fact not opened.

Facing a future which was not unfolding according to her expectations, Adelia perceived that the deeper choice that she had to make was to be rooted in a vertical relationship of faith with God, from whom she could receive that direction on how she desired to spend her life. In this experience she could feel the presence of the loving Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected, who was calling her to follow Him in an unconditional surrender of her life.

"It was July 25. A mixture of feelings, between fear and trust, were going through me. That God who had led me this far made me perceive the presence full of love of his crucified and risen Son. In that moment of prayer I spoke my yes to him, handing him over my life completely.
This secret vow became my reference point and my hope: no matter what would happen, and anything could happen, I was in the hands of God and this for ever. I entrusted myself to Him and this was my strength and my joy".

Adelia Firetti

The heart of our life

This yes to the love of God, combined with the liberating experience of a deep joy which nothing and no one can take away from us, and the always new surrender of our smallness and disproportion to God, is till today the heart of our life and our various working placements. In fact, contemplation and prayer become for us “the most vital and powerful part” of our life and mission.

They light up the joy and the desire to cooperate with God in his project of communion between individuals and among nations.
The vows become the way of referral to the filial life of Jesus, who is “the salt and yeast” which can transform the world from within. He is the only one who can really answer to the deepest thirst in each human being: the thirst for true relationships, for a fulfilling life.