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Maria Maddalena Lonardini

List of deceased Sisters

Date of death 23/01/2012

“The Lord is my Shepherd,
there is nothing I shall want!
If I pass through the valley of darkness
No evil will I fear,
For You are with me”
Ps. 22

Sr Maria Maddalena, Teresa Lonardini, was born in Capriano del Colle (Brescia) on November 11th 1942 of Giuseppe and Luigia Falappi.

She entered the Postulate on September 10th 1964. On March 8th 1965, she began her novitiate and two year later, March 9th 1967, she made her first vows. After a professional preparation as a teacher, in 1973 she left for New Caledonia, where she stayed for three years, teaching at the primary schools at la Foi and Thio.

In July 1976 she returned to Italy for a time of vacation with the family and, in October of the same year, she left for Burundi, in Africa. She stayed there five years, working as a formator in the catechumenates of Ndava, Rutana and Kiremba.

In 1982 she returned to Italy for a time of vacation and formation. In the following year she was asked to work for six months in vocation awareness in Brescia. In June 1983, she began a time on ongoing formation, first in Rome and later in Canada. In 1986 she was named Provincial in our province of Italy-Rwanda. After four years in this service and a time of rest, she did a course in Theology and Scripture at the “Lumen Vitae” Institute in Belgium.

She returned to Burundi and in 1994 took a course in English in Nairobi, Kenya, in view of her service in the refugee camps in Tanzania, where she stayed for three years. Returning to Italy for a rest, she had another time of ongoing formation in Rome.

In 1999, she was asked to become Mistress of Novices in Senegal. She therefore returned to Canada for another period of formation. Later she stayed for two years at the novitiate in Senegal. At the General Chapter of 2001, in Rome, she was elected a General Councilor. She remained in this position until the end of 2008.

At the beginning of 2009, she left for a new service in the camps of refugees from Darfour, this time in Chad. She returned to Italy on June 3rd 2011, and was diagnosed to have a tumor.

Sr Maria Maddalena lived in confidence and in peace during the long months in which she struggled against her disease. She loved life and was ready to offer herself again for any kind of service. The Lord asked of her that of suffering and participation with Him in the work of salvation and the transformation of humanity.

When Sr. M. Maddalena understood and accepted this new Mission, once again she desired to give her all. Three days before her death, during one of our last conversations, she asked me: “Why does “the hour” not come?” I asked her if she really desired that this “hour” come and if she felt ready to meet the Lord for whom she had waited so long. In addressing the Lord, she responded to me: “Yes, I am ready, Lord. I have given all, at least I believe so. Come, Lord, I love You, come!”

Sr M. Maddalena left us in peace and confidence, on Monday, January 23rd 2012 at 11:20 am.

Thank you, Maddalena, for the witness of faith and of love for the Mission that you have given us even during your illness. You lived with tenacity and courage, each situation that life presented to you. You loved the Congregation very much and we are sure that you have offered your sufferings for all of us also.
One of our sisters found a message written by you on one of your anniversaries of Profession : «… Today I celebrate in the barrenness and solitude of the desert, which invites me to reflect within myself on the 44 years of my religious profession.
I give thanks to the Lord and to Mary, who by their fidelity have helped me to never regret having said “Yes”. On the contrary, in remembering all the blessings received, I feel humanly fulfilled and spiritually satisfied with this life”

Your “Yes”, never regretted, was renewed in this period of suffering, during which you continued to abandon yourself into the hands of the Lord. How many times you wished to hear again Psalm 22:

“The Lord is my Shepherd,
there is nothing I shall want!
If I pass through the valley of darkness
No evil will I fear,
For You are with me”

In this Eucharistic celebration in which you are presented to your Shepherd and Lord, we give thanks for the immense gift He gave to you: the certainty of His Presence, at your side, until the last day.

He welcomes you today in His peace and in His joy. May you be with Him and with your loved ones who preceded you, to celebrate the eternal Feast.

Sr Grazia Anna Morelli smsm
Provincial