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News update

January 2022

  • Srs. Angélique Dikete and Cécile Ndaya, general councillors, came back to Generalate on 9th January after having accomplished their mission in the province of St. Vincent de Paul, Congo. The Community welcomed them back warmly. No doubt, they are happy to re-join the community.
  • The process of nomination for the appointment of a new leadership team in the province of Sri Lanka was held on line. Srs. Deepthika and Roshni facilitated this process. As the members of the General Council were on different continents, they too met together on-line for consultation and discernment.

The installation of the new team took place on 12th January during a meaningful prayer service. Several Sisters from various parts of the Congregation as well as the communities of the province participated - on line, of course.

The new Leadership Team consists of Sr. Patsy Pitchai as the Provincial Superior and Sr. Pradeepika Perera, Sr. Malar Coonghe, Sr. Chandrika Liyanarchchi and Sr. Jenita Ragel as council members.
We thank them for their generous and courageous “yes” to the call of leadership in the province and assure them of our prayers.

Province of Sri Lanka

From left to right : Sr. Chandrika Liyanarchchi, Sr. Malar Coonghe, Sr. Patsy Pitchai (Provincial Superior), Sr. Pradeepika Perera and Sr. Jenita Ragel.

  • Due to the restrictions of Covid–19 in Netherlands, Sr. Lucy was unable to visit our sisters there when she was in the Province in November last year. The sisters were waiting to meet her face to face. In spite of her busy schedule, Sr. Lucy went there on 11th January and the Sisters received her with much joy.


News update

31 December 2021

  • After a long waiting, the fourth member of the International Community has arrived! Sr. Gertrude Kindeke Aliop of St. Bernard Province, Congo finally reached Brussels on 17 December 2021. She spent a couple of days with at Generalate and on 22nd she went to join the other three in Terhaegen, Ghent where she was warmly welcomed by the sisters. We wish Sr. Gertrude every blessing for the accomplishment of her mission.

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  • As you already know, General Councillors Srs. Angélique and Cécile are in the province of St. Vincent de Paul, Congo to facilitate the process of the nomination of a new leadership team. We have now the joy of announcing the names of the new Provincial leadership team of the province:

Provincial Superior : Sr. Isabelle Ilunga Kazadi,
Provincial Councilors

 Sr. Marie-Jeanne Muleka Kabangu
 Sr. Carine-Solange Kupela Kasongo
 Sr. Hélène Mujinga Kanyanga
 Sr. Francine Wumba Kini.

Congratulations dear Sisters! We wish you a fruitful mission of leadership in the province. Our prayerful support is always with you!

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From left to right : Sr. Hélène Mujinga Kanyanga, Sr. Carine-Solange Kupela Kasongo, Sr. Isabelle Ilunga Kazadi, Sr. Francine Wumba Kini and Sr. Marie-Jeanne Muleka Kabangu

  • As coronavirus still having its control over us, we continue looking for alternate ways of organizing important events of our life and mission. This, the region of Our Lady of La Vang, Vietnam has planned a tertianship program in the region itself. The six junior sisters, Srs. Teresa Le, Maria Thao, Teresa Phuong, Anna Lien, Anna Thang and Anna Thuy have begun their tertianship on 27th December in Placid House. Sr. Lucy gave them an on-line orientation talk which was followed by a Holy Mass in the evening. Sr. Suman Toppo as the tertian mistress will accompany and guide them during this period of preparation for final vows. Our prayerful wishes to you, dear sisters.
  • This is the last time we ‘meet’ this year! We say Good-bye to 2021 and welcome 2022 with much hope and trust in the Lord! We wish you all the blessings of Christmas to last all the year through!


News update

December 2021

  • The canonical visitation of Sr. Lucy Jacob in the Dutch Speaking Province was a time of grace for the Sisters of the province as well as for herself. The latter is now back in the Generalate, warmly welcomed not only by the members of the community but also by a pile of accumulated tasks!
  • Final professions
  • We congratulate our dear Sisters Roshanthini Mariyathas, Jeyalini Philipneris and Nilushi Wijesooriya, from the Province of Sri Lanka, who made their perpetual commitment on the 4th December, at St Theresa’s Church, Thimbirigasyaya. The chief celebrant was Rev. Fr. Joseph Jeyaseelan, CMF, who also preached an inspiring homily. Some SCJMs and the families of the sisters were present for the celebration.


From left to right : Sisters Roshanthini Mariyathas, Nilushi Wijesooriya and Jeyalini Philipneris

  • 8th December was a great day for the sisters in Delhi province as 4 young sisters, Srs. Meenu Sidhu, Rose Mary Ekka, Juhi Gulab Xalxo and Asha Priya Tirkey pronounced their final vows in Sacred Heart Convent chapel, Amritsar. Most Rev. Agnelo Rufino Gracias, the Apostolic Administrator of Jalandhar diocese, was the main celebrant of the Holy Eucharist.

Congratulations dear sisters. May God continue to accompany you in your commitment to Him!


From left to right : Sisters Meenu Sidhu, Rose Mary Ekka, Juhi Gulab Xalxo and Asha Priya Tirkey

Please click this link to watch the video of the profession.

  • On the same day also, in Hinoo, ten sisters of the Ranchi province took their final vows during a solemn Eucharistic celebration presided over by the auxiliary bishop of Ranchi archdiocese, Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas: Sisters Alka Bara, Rita Toppo, Kiran Baa, Renu Pushpa Lakra, Basanti Kandulna, Sunita Murmu, Maria Goreti Kerketta, Santrima lakra, Shalini Minj and Promila Samad. Congratulations dear sisters. May God bless you!

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  • Sisters Angélique Dikete and Cécile Ndaya are now in the province of St. Vincent de Paul, Congo to accompany the Sisters of the province in their discernment for the nomination of a new leadership team. They will be in the province till 05 January 2022. Your valuable prayers are requested for the province during this very important time in the life of the Congregation.
  • Sr. Roshni Barla is safely back in Brussels after her home visit. Her father is growing weaker with age related health issues and is in need of much help and support. Nevertheless, Sr. Roshni’s presence with him has strengthened and energised him a lot.
  • Sr. Valsam Jose is on her way to India in the wake of the sudden and unexpected death of her younger brother. Her presence will certainly be a great support to the members of the family. May the Lord grant eternal peace to the departed soul and consolation to the bereaved family members.


Generalate News

15 November 2021

  • 4th November - Foundation Day! In honour of this day, the community spent the day before the Blessed Sacrament in praise and thanksgiving for the countless blessings we have experienced over the last 218 years, and interceding for continued blessings on each one of us in the Congregation.
  • The following day was a day of celebration at which we had the joy of having Sr. Marie Inès Palmaerts with us.

Sr. Inès is a Carmelite sister of the Contemplative Order, currently a member of their Community next door to our Generalate. She is a former SCJM, celebrating her diamond jubilee this year. We knew that she still has a very special place in her heart for our congregation. So, on this occasion of her jubilee, we invited her to join us on our Foundation Day. She received a special permission from her prioress and was with us for lunch. Certainly she was excited and had many stories to share with us!

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In the evening, after the Eucharistic celebration, Fr. Michel Christiaens, our parish priest, joined us at supper. It was an occasion for him to get to know our congregation a little more.

  • Soon after the celebration of the Foundation Day, the General Council members got busy with the nomination process for the appointment of a new leadership team in Rwanda, the Vice Province of Our Lady of Kibeho. Srs. Cécile Ndaya and Angélique Dikete were delegated to facilitate this process.

We now have a new team in the Vice-province, consisting of Sr. Mary Paul Vadassery as the Vice-Provincial, and Sr. Athanasie Mukangoga and Sr. Yvonne Ngomba Lukusa as Council members. They were installed on 11th evening, on-line. We thank them for their generous “yes” to the Lord in serving the vice province and the congregation.

May the Lord bless you and guide you in your ministry of leadership!

 

From left to right : Sr. Athanasie Mukangoga, Sr. Mary Paul Vadassery and Sr. Yvonne Ngomba Lukusa

  • The threat of pandemic is not yet over in Belgium, but with much restrictions and caution, we may move around. So, beginning from today, Sr. Lucy Jacob will be in the Dutch-speaking province for a canonical visit. Along with Sr. Lucy, let us be with our Sisters in this province in prayerful support.
  • While Sr. Roshni is preparing herself to leave for India to pay a visit to her father who has been very sick for quite some time now, some others of the community will soon be beginning their annual retreat. The community of Ave Maria in Saint Servais (Belgium South) is happy to welcome them.


4 November 2021

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News of the week

30/10/2021

  • Sr. Lucy Jacob could make her canonical visit to the Belgian South Province in October. The Sisters were very happy with her visit to the Province.
  • Sister Noëlla Mokola, from the Province of St. Bernard, made her perpetual vows on 17/10/2021 in the Central African Republic. We offer her our warm and sincere congratulations and welcome her warmly to the great family of the SCJM. May the Lord strengthen her steps to walk in his footsteps.
  • Sr. Sylvia Chabala of the Generalate community had gone to Zambia for the funeral of her dear father who expired on 9th September. She came back to the Generalate on 13 October 2021. We wish her much courage to overcome this painful separation.
  • The members of the Generalate community are in the process of making their retreat. Sr. Kim-Chi Duong has completed her 8-day retreat in the community. We offer her our warmest congratulations. Sr. Valsam Jose and Sr. Rosily Mathew are making their retreat in Saint-Servais, Belgian South Province. We wish them a fruitful time in intimacy with the Lord.
  • The three members of the International Community are preparing to leave the community of Melle to go to Ghent, our Mother House, where they will start to get used to the new environment. We are still waiting for the arrival of the fourth member from the D.R. Congo. The official opening of the International Community will take place when all its members are there.
  • At the moment, Belgium is fighting against the autumn wave of the Corona. The infection and hospitalization are on the rise and many protective measures are on their way back. It has become obligatory to have the Vaccination Certificate with you as you move around in the country.
  • Autumn, the ’season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ is here! The nature is putting on a very attractive and colourful garment despite all the harm that we humans inflict upon her. The days are becoming shorter and nights longer and darker, and the temperature is getting cooler day by day.


News of the week

01/10/2021

1. Some members of the Generalate participated in the Requiem Mass for nineteen Sisters of the Dutch-speaking Province who died during the last two years (2020 and 2021). Due to the pandemic situation, it was not possible to celebrate funeral masses for our Sisters. The celebration took place on 11/09/2021 in Mother House chapel, Ghent. It was very moving. May the Lord, in his mercy, welcome them into his Kingdom and may he grant deep faith in the dead and risen Christ to all the Sisters of the Province.

2. Sister Anne Nama Ngueji, of the Province of St. Vincent de Paul, made her perpetual vows on 26/09/2021 in Mbujimayi. We offer her our warm and sincere congratulations and welcome her into the great family of the SCJM. May the Lord strengthen her steps in following him.

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3. The General Councillors made the transmission of the EGC 2021 to the members of the Generalate community, the international community (INC), the International Asian Novitiate (IAN) and the community in Legaspi, Philippines, from 24th to 27th September 2021. For the Generalate community, the transmission was done at the Generalate, and for the Sisters of the IAN, Legaspi and INC, the transmission was done online. The Sisters were happy with this sharing which brought them much light on the life of the Congregation.

4. On 29th September 2021, the celebration of the jubilees of 50, 60, 70 and 75 years of profession of our Sisters in the Provinces and Region of Europe for the two years (2020 and 2021) took place. As you know, last year there was no celebration of the jubilees as usual in Ghent because of the restriction measures. Bishop Lode Van Hecke of Ghent presided over the thanksgiving Eucharist in the large chapel of the Mother House in Terhaegen. Out of 29 jubilarians, 16 jubilarians were present at the celebration. Several sisters were present at this celebration. Unfortunately, our sisters from the Anglo-Irish Region were not able to join us, due to restrictions. After the mass, a fraternal meal was shared in joy. It was a great opportunity to meet all the sisters from the two Belgian Provinces who were able to travel to Ghent. The meeting brought much joy and happiness and strengthened our bonds of solidarity and communion among SCJM. 

Please click here to view the photos of the celebration

5. Situation of the pandemic in Belgium

As of 1st October, it will no longer be compulsory to wear a face mask during religious celebrations, except in Brussels and Wallonia (South of Belgium). The social distancing had already been lifted earlier. Disinfection of hands at the entrance and the prohibition of any physical contact during the celebrations remain in force. Caution and common sense are still required in all circumstances. The virus is still not entirely defeated. The Bishops call once again for people to be vaccinated in the interest of their own health and that of their fellow human beings.

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Final profession in Lubumbashi

On 31st July 2021, Sisters Béatrice-Landrine KASONGO KIBANDA and Mélanie NSANGO KALUNGA consecrated themselves to the Lord for life as Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary in the Province of Saint Vincent de Paul, in the D.R. Congo.
We join them in joy and thanksgiving for their commitment and assure them of our prayers.

From left to right: Sisters Béatrice-Landrine Kasongo, Isabelle Ilunga and Mélanie Nsango

 



Recent news

Entry to the postulancy

On August 6, 2021, the Province of Ranchi was happy to welcome nine new postulants. They are Gloria Bilung, Alka Surin, Nikita Lakra, Anastasia Hunni Purty, Sunita Laguri, Sandhya Kerketta, Beli Kujur, Niketa Tirkey and Anusha Hasda. We pray that the Holy Spirit may accompany and guide them in their formative journey. May they discover the joy of following Christ and grow in the virtues of the Gospel and in the charism of the Congregation!

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From left to right: Gloria Bilung, Alka Surin, Nikita Lakra, Anastasia Hunni Purty, Sunita Laguri, Sandhya Kerketta,Beli Kujur, Niketa Tirkey and Anusha Hasda.

First profession

On August 14, 2021, the two novices Anna Tran Thi Kim Thanh and Maria Nguyen Que Tram, from the Region of "Our Lady of La Vang" in Vietnam, made their first profession at the Interprovincial Novitiate in the Philippines. They could not return to Vietnam because of the pandemic situation, but the sisters of the Region, their families and friends were able to attend the celebration which was broadcast live on Facebook.

With joy and gratitude, we congratulate them wholeheartedly, wish them the best and assure them of our prayers.

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From left to right: Sr. Maria Nguyen Que Tram and Sr. Anna Tran Thi Kim Thanh

Video of the profession :



Communication to the Congregation: EGC 2021 / N° 04

16/08/2021

We are happy to inform you about the further development of our EGC. After a break, we continued our journey with Phase II.

On 12th August, Sr. Lucy Jacob welcomed all the participants back and told them that Phase II would focus on information from the General Government’s perspective, to see where there has been progress, where there is a need to improve, and to respond to the desire to move forward.

She then introduced to the participants the new simultaneous translators: Sr. Martine Krichel and Mr. Pierre Hernalsteen.

The day started with the opening prayer. After that, Sr. Lucy invited the participants to reflect on how the transmission of the EGC would be done in the Provinces, Vice-Province and Regions. She asked each unit to propose a programme for the transmission, taking into account the following elements: content, methodology and time. This transmission should take place within the next two months. After the group work, we shared our reflections in the plenary session. It was a mutual enrichment for us.

The second session was based on financial management in the Congregation, presented by Sr. Rosily Mathew. She began her presentation with a quote on the "social role of property" (Fratelli Tutti 118-119). She shared her personal experience and observations in this function. She also showed the impact of Covid-19 on the financial situation of the Congregation. 

August 13: The day was dedicated to sharing on the Congregational retreat, with the theme "Living our vows in the three dimensions of our Charism", and on the concern for our Common Home.

Some Provinces were able to make this retreat. In other Provinces, not all the Sisters have made it, because of the pandemic situation. All the participants appreciated this initiative taken by the General Government. The impact of this retreat in the Provinces are: the deepening of our Charism, transformation at personal and community level, understanding and living of our vows in the light of our Charism.

The sharing on the celebration of the Season of Creation and Laudato Sí week showed that it was a beneficial time for all, thanks to the different experiences lived by each one. All the Sisters made every effort to live the calls of Laudato Sí, and they committed themselves to protecting our Common Home, wishing to continue to have this experience of Laudato Sí.

At the end of the sharing, Sr. Lucy proposed to the participants the theme for the 2022 Congregational Retreat: "Ecological Conversion". All the participants appreciated the proposal.

August 14: During the opening prayer, we were in communion with our sisters in Pakistan and the Pakistani people who were celebrating the 73rd anniversary of their independence. We also prayed for our two young Sisters Anna Thanh and Maria Tram from Vietnam who took their first vows in the Philippines.

Afterwards, various topics were discussed:

- Project of the book on the history of the Congregation

- SCJM literature (published documents about SCJM)

- Evaluation of “Integrated Life Style”

- Means of communication: Websites

- International Community

The texts of the presentations were then sent to the participants online. They were given time to read and study them personally. A sharing of reflections, comments and clarifications followed in the afternoon. The participants appreciated the work done by the General Government.

The day of 15th August began with the opening prayer prepared in honour of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and for the intentions of the 73rd anniversary of India’s independence. After the prayer, we followed the presentations of the day.

These were the heritage property of the SCJM, and the Constitutions and Statutes (modifications and structural changes). The texts of the presentation were then sent to the participants for personal reading and study. A sharing of reflections, comments and clarifications followed in the afternoon.

Sr. Lucy gave a concluding address and Sr. Roshni expressed a vote of thanks. Finally, we concluded the EGC with a prayer of thanksgiving which ended with the Magnificat.

The General Government would like to thank all the SCJMs for accompanying the participants by their prayer during this EGC 2021.

 

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Communication to the Congregation: EGC 2021 / N°3

11/08/2021

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.



Communication to the Congregation: EGC 2021 / N°2

06/08/2021

The third day of EGC continued with its focus on the theme “a stranger on the road”. The day started with the sharing of some reflections, dreams and thoughts related to the previous day, followed by a reflective prayer on the theme of the day.

A considerable length of this day was spent on highlighting issues, concerns, insights and challenges that emerged from the reports of the provinces and regions. What emerges as a clear indication for the Congregation is the invitation to “come down from the donkey” in response to the needs of the poor and the vulnerable in our midst.

Continued reflection and sharing in small groups on how to be a Good Samaritan further clarified the direction we are called to take. Deeply grounded in the Word of God, we are invited to see reality from the perspective of the vulnerable and to develop a spirituality that can stimulate and empower us to greater openness, flexibility and creativity in meeting the needs to the “stranger” on the roads of our life situations.

On day four, we began looking at “envisaging and engendering an open world”. That the EGC would spend four days on this theme signifies the importance of this orientation. The participants of the EGC are clearly listening to the teachings of Pope Francis in Fratelli Tutti in an attempt to find ways of responding to his call in appropriate ways.

The day began with a meaningful prayer and reflection on the faith of the Canaanite woman (Mt. 15:21-28). Then it was time to get to know each other through personal stories – opening up to each other’s personal world as lived out in one’s natural family and in the SCJM family. These sacred moments of sharing were very enriching and it strengthened our bonding as members of the Congregation. It brought about a sense of gratitude, solidarity, trust, understanding, listening, and openness among us. We felt the presence of the divine in all of our experience and could see how God has been leading us all along in our life. The day ended with a thanksgiving hymn; “Every person is a sacred story”. How beautiful and great are the works of the Lord!

Day five began with the reflection on the universal experience of vulnerability, based on Mt 16: 21-23 and the story of Job. Human life is fragile & we all have experienced it especially during the pandemic. Blessed are the fragile, the vulnerable, the poor in spirit - they belong to the kingdom of God. Through this morning reflection, we were being invited to embrace our own vulnerability, experiences in diverse ways.

The shared activities of today focused on moving from a closed world to an open world. For reflection we were directed to listen to our own experience of being members of an international congregation. We recalled and shared with each other and with the whole group experiences of times we felt energised and estranged as an individual member and as a province / region in the congregation. It was a time when we felt being trusted, encouraged and supported and a sacred moment to recognize and accept our own vulnerability, individually and as a congregation.

Another significant work of this day was to identify those factors that prevent us from noticing the strangers in our midst and to consider what choices we have to make in order to “come down” from the donkey. Our answers were recorded and displayed using an interactive presentation software (Mentimeter). The day ended with sharing of our feelings of gratitude, communion and support to one another.

Today, the 6th day of our virtual EGC, we have been focusing on “building bridges to a new story” as we continue our journey through Fratelli Tutti.

Our morning prayer, led by Frances, was centred on the icon of transfiguration of the Lord and reflection on Mk. 9:2-10. The icon is a manifestation of the presence of God. It draws and brings us into this presence so that we can experience God in our soul. In this way we become a living icon of God.

We were invited to go up the mountain to the place of meeting, the place of listening. We asked for the grace to open our eyes to see Jesus leading us out to ministry and to the people.

After prayer, Br. Emili introduced the work of the day. The question for reflection was: What important choice, in real and practical ways, could we now make to create the first chapter of a new story that opens us more to each other and to the world? The group responses were presented on the padlet for the assembly for further reflection and response.

At the moment, we continue with the same theme that we started on Day Four. More of it, in the next letter!

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Communication to the Congregation: EGC 2021 / N°1

02/08/2021

As you already know, this important online event of the Congregation started beforehand on 31/07/2021 with a test session to get used to the new technology.

On the first day, after the introduction of all the participants, the facilitators reminded us of the purpose of the EGC, which is to promote communion within the Congregation, and of the essential points of EGC/19, namely knowing each other, the Congregation and the local Church, and listening to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor (LS 49).

After this reminder, we reflected on two questions:

- What are your concerns as we start EGC/21?

- What are you feeling inside yourself at this moment?

What emerges from the questions discussed in the small groups is the concern to take responsibility during this time of pandemic as well as the concern to use the new technology in an appropriate way.

As for feelings, we are all happy, motivated and willing to live this new virtual experience. Yet, the worry about the technology is still holding us back. However, we hope to dispel it.

Sr. Lucy Jacob addressed warm words of welcome to everyone and introduced the facilitators, Fr. Emili Turú and Ms. Frances Heery, the secretaries and translators. This was followed by a time of prayer and reflection on the icon of Mercy (cf. Fratelli Tutti, 70).

The second session focused on the objectives and planning of the GCE/21 and contemplative leadership. These two themes were discussed in groups: the secretary of each group presented her report to the plenary assembly.

On the second day, the session started with a sharing of some dreams and thoughts related to the previous day. This was followed by the announcement of the theme.

An intense prayer from the icon of Mercy introduced us to the theme and challenged us with a fundamental question: Who is my neighbour?

Afterwards, Bro. Emili projected several pictures, allowing us to deepen our contemplation of the icon of Mercy in our own context and in the global context.

Then Ms Frances Heery explained the acronym VUCA: V, Volatile; U, Uncertainty; C, Complexity; A, Ambiguity.

This acronym describes the world we live in today: a changing, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world.

During the afternoon, the groups met in two stages, by continent. Each secretary wrote the group’s answers on their padlet (a note on an online virtual board where one can write and share thoughts, ideas, reflections) and read them out to the plenary. Ms. Frances Heery made some comments after each group’s sharing.

Dear Sisters, as we journey together through this important event of our Congregation, we will be happy to gradually share with you the progress of our daily activities. We continue to count on your prayers.

May the Spirit of the Lord continue to guide us in our reflection and discernment during this EGC/21.

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