Jesuit Novitiate
Novitiate of the Euro-Mediterranean Province of the Society of Jesus

Time for first vows

by Giacomo Andreetta

Looking like a limpet / Being a limpet

This isn’t an article for teenage girls in crisis, but a short story. One summer afternoon we went for a dip in the sea to freshen up a little and the choice fell on a pebble beach a few kilometers to the east of the novitiate.

Clear blue water, little fishes, few bathers, rocks – and I perched on one of these, like a limpet. Every now and then even letting out a loud cry to lend me strength against the “mighty” waves that came. A spectacle for a chosen few!

I’ll admit it: I’m not an aquatic animal and I have a turbulent relationship with the sea. After a couple of laughs, we then dived in and, after a few strokes, we explored the reefs submerged not far off the shore. On the way we also had the opportunity to admire fish of every colour, sea urchins and the different shades of blue.

A spectacle, certainly, but much more important is being with my companions as I am, with this little weakness of mine, and having the freedom to show also one’s vulnerability and fragility and not just in this moment of self-irony. Life in community and investing oneself in relationships leads both to recognising and welcoming the rough edges and voids of others, as well as recognizing one’s own, not to wear masks but to journey in truth and freedom. We give nothing but our very selves.

And as the Lord gave me the desire and confidence to move myself through the water from reef to reef, I am sure he will give me the strength to give myself completely. My “dolphin” side and my “limpet” side, because I am, and he wants me, whole.

And so it is that in the afternoon of Saturday the I will pronounce my vows together with my four companions Cornel, Janez, Piero and Andrei, placing my trust in a less slippery rock and for a vaster sea.

Giacomo Andreetta



Saturday 15th September at 16:00 we will pronounce our first vows in the Church of the Gesù of Genoa. With our talents and limitations, we offer ourselves to Jesus Christ to follow him as his humble companions in the footsteps of St. Ignatius.

Please keep us in your prayers,

Giacomo, Cornel, Janez, Piero, Andrei


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