Newsletter of the 35th General Chapter: August 30-31 (Srs)
Greetings to all the Sisters!
As the capitulants are gathered here in Rome for our 35th General Chapter, we wish to share with you some of the highlights of this important event.
On Thursday, August 30, the Brothers and Sisters SS.CC. gathered at the retreat house of Mother of Mercy on Via di Monte Cucco. Together we walked in procession with our Superior General Rosa Maria carrying the statue of Our Lady of Peace. This solemn opening of the two chapters was celebrated with the Eucharistic liturgy commemorating Blessed Eustaquio Van Lieshout, SS.CC. Javier Álvarez-Ossorio in his homily asked us to “enter into this house with Jesus” seeing how we can serve, mindful of the people who are waiting outside the door to whom we must render service.
Friday, August 31 we began the day with prayer Brothers and Sisters together before going to our separate sessions. The Sisters began our first session with a solemn opening prayer that asked us to listen to the voice of God in the cries of our world; to see God made visible in the faces of his children and to see what needs can we respond to in our world. Following these reflections, Sr. Rosa called each Sister by name and presented them with a logo “to be a need to the Herat of God” and a candle representing the living Christ whom we wish to guide and remain with us as we made our chapter decisions.
Sr. Rosa addressed the capitulans saying that just as the olimpians trained long before the Olympics so we too prepared well before the General Chapter. Our world today is in turmoil yet there are people who work to relieve some ofthe problem. Let us be among those people, let us be open and enlightened by God and by the work of our Sisers so that our Congregation will be a need of the Heart of God.
In an atmosphere of confidence that our chapter would be under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and our Lady of Peace, the capitulants began the day´s work organizing the various committees needed. The Chapter members voted and approved the following:
Facilitator of the Chapter – Sr. Giselle Gomez, a Teresian sister from Nicaragua who serves as General Councilor for her Congregation.
Chapter Secretary – Lillian Bordón of Paraguay-Bolivia assisted by Susanna Dumrauf of Chile
Tellers – Ratna Kumalasari of Asia and Maria Vidal of Spain
Steering Committee – Rosa Maria Ferreiro, Giselle Gomez, Mercedes Bayo representing Europe and Africa, Emperatriz Arrobo representing Latin America and Aurora LaGuarda representing Pacific – Asia.
Editorial Commission which edits and presents the chapter decisions to the assembly.
Nuria Arias of Spain – Spanish speaking, Jeanne Cadiou of France, French speaking, and Mary McCloskey of Ireland –English speaking.
Letters Commission reads letters addressed to the Chapter by Sisters and reports to the chapter. Regina Mary Jenkins of Pacific.
Communications Commission prepares news of the Chapter to be sent to all the communities of the Congregation. Paula Teck of Belgium – French language, Martha “Liz” Fuentes of Mexico, Spanish language and Helene Wood of Pacific – English language.
“Extra curricular Activities” Commission responsible for organizing times of recreation.
Sara Bonda of Peru-Brazil-Mexico, Leini Ferrín of Ecuador and Marquerite Ngwangele of Africa.
In the afternoon the two chapters joinned to reflect in small groups on questions presented by the facilitators Sr. Giselle Gomez and Fr. Paul Andrew Smyth.
To aid us in our discernment of Mission, the groups reflected on:
Who in the Congregation inspired you the most?
What aspect of the Congregation inspires you?
What should the Congregation do to inspire our outreach to the world?
After a break, the Brothers and Sisters came together to consider the questions, What is your experience of mission? How does your Province regard mission? What is your dream for this Chapter?
Some responses were: that the capitulants would listen to the Spirit and arrive at some new and concrete decision that would move the Congregation to better collaborate, Brothers and Sisters with laity; that we look beyond our borders to live our mission.
Our day concluded with the celebration of liturgy with an African flavor and so our first day ended well.
Rome, September 1, 2012