Romitaggio Maria Bambina, in Ghirla, Varese District, marks itself out as a typically Franciscan place of prayer.
It is surrounded by chestnut-trees and holm-oaks. The convent in red brick, the cloister with colonnade, the chapel and sober furnishing give an all-over effect of simplicity and austerity.
It is now the residence of a small community of ours, juridically dependent on the superior general.
The sisters came to it in 1985, by initiative of Mother Angelamaria Campanile, who purchased it under the name of "Romitaggio di S. Francesco alla Selva", to fulfil a desire of the general Chapter of 1975.
It had asked for the provision of a small house of prayerful retreat for sisters who felt the need of it.
The community offers this service of hospitality and spiritual refreshment not only to our own sisters but also to other Congregations, groups of consecrated persons, young people, committed adults, priests and anyone else who seeks to be restored in spirit.
It has the capacity of 19 single rooms and can cater for a whole day to thirty people or so.
According to Mother Angelamaria, this house should be, as it were, the "heart" of the Institute and of the Church: by helping to restore the essence of a meaningful life in an atmosphere of simplicity, friendliness, prayer and care, so that whoever thirsts for God may come here and be refreshed.
Today, the community also renders some humble service in neighbouring parishes and is well-integrated into its surroundings; its members do their best to carry out the project as sisters of charity by promoting human life around them.
Life in the Spirit, is so much needed in our times when the world and its cultures can give only a watered-down interpretation of the Christian message.