Particular festive atmosphere last Sunday morning in the Cathedral in the solemn mass at 10.00 celebrated by the Bishop of Ischia His Exc. Mons. Gennaro Pascarella during which the prelate of the island diocese blessed the anniversaries of religious profession of three sisters Daughters of the Church: 50 ° of Sister Esperanza of Mater Ecclesiae, 60 ° of Sister Bernardetta Lombardi of the church of San Girolamo in Ischia and the 70th of Sister Assunta Iacono of Ischia with religious profession at the Santa Maria in Via-Lata municipality in Rome.
Sister Assunta is the daughter of the historic organist of the Church of the Holy Spirit of Ischia Luigi Iacono, sister of the late master-organist Francesco Iacono and aunt of Luca Iacono, appreciated master-organist, heir and son of art. The ceremony, which produced not a few emotions among those present, was solemnized by the music and songs of the parish choir and in a special way by the divine voice of Sister Alice Callegari Religious Community of Foggia singing for the occasion, who had the task of name of the Religious Community Daughters of the Church to express the sentiments of gratitude and thanksgiving with the following sweet words: “Today we celebrate the 70 years of religious profession of Sister Assunta, the 60 years of Sister Bernadette and the 50 of Sister Esperanza. In fact we are here together to celebrate this Eucharist presided over by our Bishop Gennaro- And it is very beautiful! – We thank God for these wonderful goals achieved by our sisters Assunta, Esperanza and Bernadette. And to enter this beautiful Cathedral we passed through a door…! And we pass through doors every day: automatic, sliding, folding, fireproof, new, old… But the most important door is the narrow one that the Lord indicates to us with his word on this 21st Sunday of Ordinary Time. This narrow door reminds us that if our ego is too cumbersome it does not allow us to enter the brother’s house … it does not allow us to be in relationship with God, with others … it does not allow us to give ourselves without reserve.
In this Eucharist we wish to thank God for the life given without reserve by these three sisters. we thank God for their narrow doors, their Yes, for their love for the Church. we thank God for the Charism of the Daughters of the Church that he gave to our Foundress Maria Oliva Bonaldo. We thank this beautiful, lively, welcoming local Church. But we thank God above all for his infinite fidelity, his making himself last among the last, for his infinite mercy ”. Today about 300 Daughters of the Church scattered all over the world are the living presence of Maria Oliva and her charism. The passion for the Church and for the humanity she inherited is the seed from which the religious family has drawn life, the root of being the Church everywhere, the point of reference for a creative fidelity to the charism that unites the Church and the world. , the glory of God and the salvation of man. Each community of Daughters of the Church in its ecclesial mission is inspired by Mary, which is why it is dedicated to her.
In Ischia the Sisters Daughters of the Church have their local reference in the Tempietto dedicated to San Girolamo in the square at the corner with Corso Vittoria Colonna and Via Edgardo Cortese. A reference dear to the people of Ischia for its history and spiritual presence. The church of San Girolamo is one of the smallest and oldest churches on the island. The chapel is dedicated to the Madonna della Pace but better known as “San Girolamo” to whom the saint was once consecrated. Today it constitutes the Chapel of the Eucharistic Center of the Sisters Daughters of the Church. Built after the terrible eruption of the arso in 1301 during the reign of Charles II. Around 1543 the University of Ischia donated it to the Augustinian friars of the convent of S. Maria della Scala. Until the 19th century it was a hermitage. In an external corner, a plaque placed on 15 August 1909 dictated by the bishop of the time Mons. Mario Palladino commemorates the fourth centenary of Vittoria Colonna’s wedding with Ferrante D’Avalos which took place in 1509 on the Castle of Ischia. Entering the church, a single nave with a low ceiling leads to the apse area where a precious mosaic surmounted by a skylight surrounds the altar. The interior of the church, humble and simple, has no particular works, except for a painting of the Madonna della Pace to which the church is dedicated. This small church inhabited by the nuns was an inspiration for many artists who took its humble appearance on their canvases. Among these the painter Hachert who in the 18th century imagined it as a place of hermits and devotion, drawing it isolated among lava rocks.
Special Reportage By Giovan Giuseppe Lubrano Photojournalist