Communication to the Congregation: EGC 2021 / N°3


As you know from our last communication that we have been working on “envisaging and engendering an open world” and focusing on “building bridges to a new story” (cf. Fratelli Tutti / FT). By now, we are also quite comfortable and at home in the virtual world, using applications like the Padlet and other facilities of the Zoom. 

August 7th started with the sharing of overnight reflections which gave us a clear indication that the Spirit of the Lord is with us, guiding and animating us. There were signs of struggle and strong feelings of hopefulness.

As we continued reflecting on and listening to the message of FT, the common feeling was that the Holy Father is calling us to a radical response and, trusting in the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we felt ready and willing to face the challenge.

An awareness meditation and a reflection on the labyrinth at the end of the session energized us and clarified for us our work as members of EGC. We have doubts and fears too but as we walk together, we feel strengthened to commit ourselves to build bridges to a new story as new horizons open up before us - a new SCJM story!

On the following day, 8th August, the focus was on the theme ‘heart open to the world’. The overnight reflections revealed that FT is throwing hard challenges to us. The day was organized between plenaries and group works. Through the interpretations of personally chosen symbols, we began to see an emerging direction towards GC 2023. There was much convergence and the feeling was that we are being invited to a radical conversion, greater communion, solidarity within our wounded world, sharing of our resources, and building a new world.

The opening prayer of 9th August put us immediately in focus – mediating the birth of something new, a new world order. The imagery of the midwife powerfully communicated this message. With this mind-set, the members of the EGC continued their work on gaining greater clarity on the focus for the GC 2023. An on-line voting clarified the issue further. Today, the EGC also spent some valuable time to finalize the procedure of the General Chapter and other related documents.

At the end of the day Sr. Lucy thanked Ms. Ilaria Nuti, our simultaneous translator, who would leave us today. She was thanked for her outstanding skills at translation and for the quality of her virtual presence with us. She would be replaced by Ms. Claudia for the remainder of the first phase of the EGC. 

 On 10th, the last day of the first phase of our EGC, we were directed to look back on this ten-day journey and to feel “what touched us most and how we are being called forth at this moment of our journey”; also where we felt resistant. A very rich sharing followed.

The ‘Icon of Mercy’ has been the one major force that touched and influenced everyone as we heard loudly and clearly Jesus’ invitation, “go and do likewise!”

The group entrusted with the task of gathering ‘pearls’ from the entire experience and to present them in the form of a message for the Congregation presented the text they had prepared. It was well appreciated and got the approval of all participants.

Of course, you will hear more of all this from your representatives through the transmission of EGC in your respective province/region.

An on-line evaluation and a vote of thanks saw the conclusion of this day. On behalf of the General Government, Sr. Deepthika Silva thanked the facilitators and the translators. The facilitators in turn expressed their satisfaction of working with SCJM, thanked and congratulated all for their simplicity, dedication and whole hearted participation.

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