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Becoming a Poor Clare nun at 30: “I’m afraid, but also trust in God”

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Diocesi Oria - Facebook

Gelsomino Del Guercio - published on 07/13/22

Michela is ready to give up everything to possess "the everything that is God" as she enters the cloister.

This past June 28, 30-year-old Michela Parabita joined the Poor Clare Sisters in the southern Italian town of Manduria. She made her vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience in the public square, formalizing her request for her first religious profession of temporary vows in the presence of the faithful of the town and the bishop of Oria (of which Manduria is part), Bishop Vincenzo Pisanelli.

For Parabita, a native of nearby Crispiano who used to work as a nurse, the choice to become a cloistered nun is a radical vocation, a life consecrated to silence and solitude, shared by other Mandurian Poor Clares, of which about 15 were present at the Concelebration. 

Michela is ready to give up everything to possess “the ‘everything’ that is God,” said Bishop Pisanelli. “Cloistered life means cutting off what is not allowed, what is not love. And she, the new nun, was called by God to speak to mankind and to convert hearts,” reported La Voce della Manduria, June 30. 

“Without forgetting oneself”

Sister Michela says she chose to enter this community “because I felt at home.” “I had everything,” she adds to La Voce della Manduria, “and yet something was missing to give fulfillment to my life.” For her, the cloister is an answer, an assurance, a gift: it means “giving oneself entirely to God and to others,” she continued, “without forgetting oneself.”

“Yes, I am afraid.”

For Michela Parabita, the choice to become a cloistered nun was an uphill process, requiring time to understand its meaning, and the meaning of her life, although she still experiences some insecurity: “Yes I am afraid, but I also have a lot of trust in God above all, and in mankind.” And she bravely admits her family’s point of view: “They don’t agree much (with my decision), but when you love a person you try to accept everything.”

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