The relationship between the SMMI and the FMI sisters (I think that is their accronym)
Oh wait I got you wrong! I thought you meant the relationship between the SMMI sisters and the FMMI brothers! (In italian the brothers acronym stands for "Fratelli Minori di Maria Immaculata").
Instead you mean, between the Sisters Minor of Mary Immaculate and Mother Maria Elisabetta's new foundation,
It's not easy... But I'll do the best I can.
The SMMI were founded by Mother Maria Elisabetta. She was also Mother General up until a few years ago.
Sooner or later in every religious institute, another sister has to become Mother General. This usually happens when the founder or foundress is still alive. Which means that the founder / foundress is no longer "in charge" if you want to put it that way, even though a lot of respect is still due to any founder or foundress.
Well for many years the SMMI always felt too young to have one of them become Mother General, seeing also that Mother Maria Elisabetta was a very charismatic figure.
But for health reasons she herself asked more than once to be able to step down as Mother General, and finally Cardinal Ruini agreed that it was time that another sister become Mother General.
So in the SMMI's General Chapter they elected a new Mother General.
I'm not even sure I can explain all that happened, all I know is that there was friction, Mother Maria Elisabetta didn't give much room for the new Mother General... There began to be friction with some of us brothers also... At a certain point the Diocesan Offices, who had followed us all along, decided to step in to take a look. They sent a nun from another order to visit the communities. Mother Maria Elisabetta didn't want to accept this intervention from the Diocesan Offices, and decided to begin a new foundation. A number of the Sisters Minor, especially those that had been with Mother Elisabetta for a number of years, decided to follow her in the new foundation, and they found acceptance by the bishop of Loreto.
I don't know how else to explain it... It's not so easy to explain I guess. I'm not sure why it happened this way... But I have entrusted my own vocation to God's hands and to the Church, and I still entrust myself to the Church.
If you were to ask me whether the new foundation by Mother Maria Elisabetta in Loreto is authentic or not, I can't really say, that will be up to the Church to decide. Who is the Church? The diocesan offices in Rome, under the direction of the new vicar Cardinal Vallini are the church; the bishop of Loreto is also the church. So time will tell I guess. I suppose that the new foundation could bear fruit and grow into a healthy community in the church. In my personal opinion, I am a bit wary because of the fact that Mother Maria Elisabetta did not comply with the indications given by the church in Rome... Someone could say, there can be misunderstandings in the church, and where something doesn't work out in one diocese it might work out in another. That could be. Personally I am a little wary of Mother Maria Elisabetta now, because she is a very strong charismatic figure, but she tends to overwhelm and intimidate and she tends to want to be in charge all the time instead of sharing responsibilities.
I don't want to influence anyone's decisions... Just always keep the principles in mind: love for and docility to the Church in it's authentic representatives (Pope, bishops, Vatican offices and diocesan offices...)
It is very recommended, when discerning a vocation to have a good spiritual director to talk things over with. A good wise priest can help make wise decisions, and encourage those sparks of divine love that light up when approaching a religious vocation.
Edited by Lwangaman, 21 April 2011 - 07:34 PM.