Report of the Congregational Contemplative Council. (Focus on the Future)
The day began with a prayer presented by the sisters of the province of Argentina.
On the agenda for this day was the presentation of the report of the Congregational Contemplative Council. (Focus on the Future)
Sister Brigid addressed the contemplative sisters and told them that the document FOCUS FOR OUR FUTURE presents the work done by the Contemplative Council since 2008. She said: “ So my dear contemplative sisters, I invite you to ‘position” yourselves as Contemplatives in an apostolic congregation.! And my dear Province Leaders, I invite you to use this opportunity to renew your understanding of contemplative life today in our congregation.”
On April 24th the report was sent to the sisters, they were asked to reflect on it in community and to bring back to this meeting their comments and ideas
Sisters were invited to look at page 8 , the section on Theological Reflections and pause for a moment to silently review the questions and jot down any thoughts that come to mind.
Sr Brigid then invited Sr. Reina to help us to remember the THEOLOGICAL REFLECTIONS.
She reminded us that :
The 1st Theological Reflection was an analysis of Focus for Our Future which challenged us to:
1) Continue to clarify our identity
2) Promote and celebrate our missionary call; and
3) Research the Spirituality of St. John Eudes and St. Mary Euphrasia from the perspective of creation theology.
Then she added “When we received the results we saw that we needed assistance to complete these tasks! Thus we created the “Break the Flask” committee. She invited Enith, a member to address the 2nd Theological Reflection”
The members of the Break the Flask committee, Sisters Enith, Fe and Agnes. were asked to come forward.
They shared their experience of the Theological reflection.
Then Sister Brigid invited the assembly to look again at the Reflection Questions.
The room was divided into two parts. Half of the group took the questions about the call “to be mystic and prophetic in today's reality…” whereas the other half took the questions under: “with our new consciousness of cosmology…” Then both groups shared reflections.
The break the flask committee distributed gift booklets (creation - seed of life) in different languages.
The contemplative council shared a PowerPoint on their visits to communities.
The question that followed was: What do you most value and appreciate from these visits?
The Councilors and the participants shared their experiences of these visits and the Contemplative sisters expressed their appreciation of having contemplative councilors who could understand and share their lifestyle.
In the afternoon Sr Jude Ellen spoke about the different formation sessions that contemplative sisters participated in. The sisters were invited to reflect on the first question listed under Spirituality sessions. And sisters were asked to write some words of Hope for the future on newsprint available at each table and these were displayed around the room..
Discussion and sharing on Justice and Peace followed, Sisters were asked to share what difference these sessions made to their lives.
There was a sharing on the development of missionary awareness since the last assembly and all those who had missionary experiences were asked to share some personal stories .
There have been so many developments in recent years, the foundation of new communities, the exchange of sisters between provinces and the international experiences of long and short duration. While some of the situations have been very challenging the overall experiences shared by the sisters were very positive.
An awareness of belonging to an international Congregation has been appreciated and deepened among contemplative sisters.
In the evening we were entertained by a group who danced traditional dances of the country.
Marie Françoise Mestry