Sharing of the First Week of the CGP
On February 1, the day we began our journey as CGP community, it was symbolically significant to have the gospel from Mark with Jesus’ telling His disciples : ‘Let us cross to the other side.’ And indeed, from four (4) continents, we ‘crossed,’ traveled and arrived at the Motherhouse between January 26 – 31, representing sixteen (16) Provinces and one (1) Region. The image that was placed before us was that of a ‘path,’ a ‘journey, that symbolized what we were entering into or taking and needed to take, and with it, the call ‘to choose and care for life.’
The joyful welcome of the whole General Council and opening message of Sr. Martine Tapsoba, our Superior General, set the tone for our gathering for the whole month and invited us to take this time ‘to give thanks, discern and deepen our understanding of the project of the Congregation, its implementation and its relevance in a changing world.’
At this time, we see the changing landscape in the leadership of our Congregation, with the 10 new Provincials ‘getting into the boat’ with the new General Council and the rest of the CGP group. So, together with the sharing, presentations, reflections, are moments of formation and learning for all of us. The opening message was followed by a talk on Appreciative Leadership given by Sr. Marjo Matias and Leadership in our Rule of Life by Sr. Carmen Escribano. The presentations were deepened by the different small group sharing (continental/ language groups) about our animation experiences and what have been challenging, life-giving and helpful for us in our respective spheres.
The days that followed were spent in sharing about our Provinces through different audio- visual presentations. They highlighted the richness of our internationality, diversity of our apostolate and mission, and God’s fidelity and loving presence in all that is and has been.
The first week was further deepened by the input given by Bishop Jacques André Blaquart, bishop of Orleans, on the Church and the new apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis, the Joy of the Gospel. We also had a very enriching talk given by Mr. FRÉDÉRIC MOUNIER, on his view of our church and our world that are marked by change and are constantly changing - calling us to love, to serve, to exchange, to move and be displaced, etc. We see God’s hand in the different movements and changes that have taken place and now, in the on-going restructuring process that we are called to pursue more deeply- touching various levels and areas of our life.
The reflection on restructuring opened us to different sentiments and feelings. For a moment, we were led to a standstill… The words displaced, displacements, moving to the other side marked us on the first week of our journey. The day of prayer and integration was happily and gratefully welcomed ; it gave us moments to recollect, look back and give thanks for the journey that we had trodden so far.
Just as we had began on the 1st day, we hear again the call to ‘move to the other side,’ – together - and to walk with trust, hope and confidence in the ONE who leads us, and tells us not to be afraid, for HE is with us. And so, the journey continues…