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Home » The convent and its works : all that has been accomplished and what remains to be completed 

The convent and its works : all that has been accomplished and what remains to be completed 

    To present what has been done at the Convent so far,  I begin with an ‘interview of Abbot Réné Laurentin (he served 5 Popes and wrote in 30 volumes the history of Lourdes, after which it was recognized) published in the preface of my third book.

    “Without beginning and without end, Fra Elia has always been looking for a convent, a place, a convent to restore. He found one in Udine, another in the Veneto, another in Tuscany, a fourth in Bergamo (too expensive despite the help of Fiorella and other friends). It was at this point that the mayor of Calvi, about fifty kilometers north of Rome, told him, “In my village there is a small 13th-century convent, in ruins, I can give it to you at a good price: 200 million of liras.” (100,000 euros today). A non-profit association called Fra Elia of the Apostles of God was formed. On June 25, 2003, the association makes a payment of 25,000 euros as a deposit, the result of two years of meetings and related offerings in Milan and Verona organized by his friends, and for the rest, he opened a 15-year bank loan….which increased with time. 

    All this changed his existence into a life of prayer and work, a life of union with the Passion of Christ. Fra Elia, skilled with his hands, worked on the renovation of the monastery together with five workers under the triple, benevolent direction of an architect, an engineer and a lawyer, all three from Bergamo. Fra Elia came to visit me in February 2005, and on March 27, 2006, I came to discover this small monastery that Fra Elia has been renovating for three years. The vaults, partly preserved, have regained their original harmony. He is giving a new youthfulness to the abandoned ruins so that the bare old monastery, without soil around it, without foundations, without a proper roof, rediscovers its inspiring soul, prolonged by the restorations and modern interventions underway. You can still see walls without roofs, a small chapel is being built first, a kitchen rooms for the brethren…”

    Basically from 2003 to the present, work has never stopped, and now exterior work is being done…work is being done slowly according to the gifts of Providence.The guesthouse is almost finished and will initially be able to accommodate 30-40 people. The plan is to host people for a 2-3 day program of spirituality gatherings through spiritual exercises, retreats, thematic discussion days, meetings with young and old, gatherings with families and more. 

    To complement the spirituality center, Fra Elia, at the Lord’s suggestion, will create a thirty-five-station Stations of the Cross (includes Our Lady’s Way of the Cross) with human-sized statues. It will extend on a plot of about 3 hectares along the large grassy slopes at the foot of the convent and in the small valley located to the northeast. The lush nature of the place totally sheltered from disturbing noises will allow pilgrims to rest their minds, find peace to concentrate solely on the needs of the spirit.

    And then I am sure that Fra Elia and his Friars will have more messages from the Lord…who so far has always acted by communicating to him his desires bit by bit…

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