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Your...Our Magnificat

The Last Goodbye to Missionary Paola Atti

Friday, June 16, in the parish of Borgonuovo, Bologna, Italy, the funeral Mass for missionary Paola Atti was held. Together with her, we sung our Magnificat for the great things that the Lord does in the lives of those who entrust themselves to him. Below are the words of Giovanna Venturi, General Directress, at the beginning of the Mass.  

Dearest Paola,

In your perpetual profession formula you wrote: "I raise up with Mary the Magnificat for the great works the Lord has accomplished in me, in a deep joy for discovering Jesus as the absolute and unique good of my life. My center is He, to him I want to strive with all my strength. "

What a great joy you are now living after so many years of suffering in finding your groom, face to face with Jesus.

For this reason, dear missionaries, volunteers, family members and friends who are here today for the last greetings to Paola, despite the suffering of detachment, we are serene because we think and believe that Paola is in the peace and joy that the Lord gives to his Servi fedeli.

Paola, born in Bologna, was just 18 years old when she started her journey to the Institute. In 1964, at the age of 22, she took temporary vows and in 1986 the perpetual vows.

From the beginning Paola showed great love and passion for the apostolate. How many groups of children, young adults and adults did she follow and accompany weekly or monthly to help them grow in Christian life, to let them know Mary and Saint Maximilian Kolbe. How many young people did she help in their vocational discernment.

Paola has accompanied every person not only with the word, but with concrete gestures of love, attention, humble and open dialogue made of friendship and service.

An apostolate supported by much suffering, but all lived with so much patience and strength, and hidden by the smile on her lips, she wrote:

"Your Grace is sufficient for me, God helps me to carry the cross, what is impossible to others is possible to Him. I want to be totally God's, to be all for my brothers and sisters, through suffering. Yes, now this is the true mission, the suffering."

Her smile was born of a deep joy of joy: "I realized that true joy is union with God, the life of grace. I have had moments of regret for my poor health but I would say that I am now in serene, I am in true joy, because besides having some health to devote myself to others, I realize that the greatest value is not health, but union with God, and I then received the immense gift of the vocation that is experienced now more than ever, you will receive a hundred-fold also on this earth. "

Friends, so many other things we can say about Paola, and maybe each one of us keeps some aspect or special memory of her in their heart, but I want to end by thanking the Lord for the gift of her life and for all the good she sowed in so many ways .

Dearest Paola, in your recent notes, you wrote:

"I imagine that I am in front of the Lord, to be in his presence, to speak with Him, to simply expose my needs and my desires."

This has become reality for you. Present to the Lord the needs and desires of all the people you have met here on earth, and the needs of the Institute you have so loved and who are preparing to celebrate the IX General Assembly. The Spirit guides you in the dynamic fidelity to the charism.

Giovanna Venturi
General Directress of the Institute