As the days draw to a close, we are grateful to God for all that has been presented to us throughout the three months. We feel privileged to have gone deeply on the core subjects of our daily life that affects us personally and as a body. We are affirmed, encouraged and urged to put a new look on how we situate ourselves in the following aspects and how they help us become true agents of transformation in our communities and apostolate and in guarding our identity as religious.
Looking on TIC being a powerful means of communication to our world today, we feel not left out since it keeps us very close to our dear ones. We acknowledge that it is an instrument of evangelization when we listen to the gospel songs and article posted. We also use it to acquire the skills we need in our studies and all this become a path of growth towards God, others and self.
With all its merits, we feel called to be attentive as religious to respect our identity in the way we make us of them : to be prudent on what we send and post which is an essential factor associated with charity that whatever we post is for the growth of the other. This will help us to remain truthful to ourselves that what we do in secret we can also do in public, thus we can live in freedom of mind and heart regardless of whatever impression given than TIC has no privacy. It also calls for discernment in the heart of community, when and where to use them especially the phones to ensure each one’s presence and participation during community time. At a personal level we need always to be disciplined on when to stop since TIC will always give us the desire to continue a little more and at the end I spend all my time in that.
As educators we are called to concertize others and ourselves on when to use TIC especially on big events. We should not forget that we are called to experience the event and not be carried away by the media or taking photos. Also we are encouraged to see what we can diminish in using TIC. In remaining responsible to switch off the unnecessary sockets will be charitable to the economy and ecology.
Superior General and the first community
Deepening on the Superior General and the transmission of leadership of the congregation since the time of our mother St. Marie Eugenie, we admire the Spirit that animated them all. We perceive the spirit of humble service at the heart of the body congregation. M.M.E being an example to emulate since she did not want to be recognized as the foundress.
We are encouraged by the strong Spirit of perseverance and endurance that animated them during the time of persecution in France and ability to stand as witness on educating even when stopped by the government. The confidence of the Sisters to reopen the house in Auteuil after being expelled and demolishing of the big monastery signifies the love for the mission and the sense of belonging to our roots.
We experience the unification of life in the fidelity of the successors to the spirit of the congregation from the beginning as received from M.M.E. which enhances the continuity of what the previous General has established. As heads in each society our mother become role model in their great motivation in their great Zeal and passion for the extension of the congregation and the kingdom. This was motivated by the confidence and trust to the sisters to them seeing their long terms of service
We feel that our Generals have remained on the front line to help us live the Love for the Church as M.M.E willed. The congregation through her leaders in listened to her advice and took over the adjustment required by her for the growth of the congregation.
Like the first Christian community, we have our own to emulate. Their ability to preserve the difficulty beginnings and trust that it is in Jesus Christ that we are founded is a reason for our existence today.
Acceptance of each other as different and as sister allowed them to give room to see the good in each other which remained as an act of sanctification to each other. The mutual support shown towards each other in carrying out the responsibility and even during the great challenge with Fr. Combalot during separation is a sign that nothing could separate them from the love that bound them together.
Based on the two mysteries of Incarnation and The coming of the Kingdom, the realization of our REALITY becomes the starting point. It is in realizing where the Kingdom reigns in our context that we can answer daily the cries of our people since it opens the way to see the need and the urgencies. This challenges our prophetic voices in the society where we are called to announce his kingdom and to denounce that what is not of the kingdom. This calls for confidence and sincerity in one’s life.
As educators we are called to see the good in each person and their place in God’s project, accept each other as different and allow our differences to enrich us. We are called to guide and motivate our young people towards their goals and not always to give inputs on how they should be. This calls for certain proximity to be able to accompany them to realize their dream.
In normal circumstances of our life we reflect on other what they have been in their success and we wish to be associated with them. On this great feast of Sts. Peter and Paul we have heroes to look at and revisit ourselves to see if we are truly what we are made to be. Each had a reality of his own and remained who they were but what made difference in their live was the first encounter with Christ. Their transformation drew them together as committed followers of Christ to build community. The challenge comes to us I my following of Christ, how committed am I to build the body community ? Does our difference in reality unite us to see the best of the other ? Living authentically, calls for one’s own nature freely expressed. Knowing who I am by living in the reality, listening to one’s heart and letting go off what is not of value.
Nature and our historical background has put in us elements of which we identify ourselves with and this is not the person I am, since I cannot be passed to the past or to those who brought me up or to my society, I have the responsibility rediscovery the true self in me and develop it with the capacity that I have. This can only be realized if I remain attentive and my eyes and ears open to see and hear how God manifests Himself in me daily especially at the darkest corners of my being. .At the heart of the community we need to remain realistic, making effort always to face the challenge especially with the person we cannot stand and belief that God’s mercy and presence is there. This will help us see each other at our authentic goodness and remain faithful to our unique way of being in communion with God for it is the real self that answers God call.
The day ended with the celebration of Golden Jubilee of Sr. Stella, witnessing God’s fidelity in her life and her fidelity to him. It was a moment of our personal renewal of the commitment that we have made and make with Christ every day. Her testimony in following Christ expressed in greatest desire to be a missionary and also the desire of her parent that among the triplet they may have a religious and through her they dream became true. Her life is a witness that struggles are always there but she knows who to gaze to. It was a joy for her to be surrounded by Sisters from different communities as a means of living communion. After mass we had supper together and merry making enjoying the gifts, talents and cultural presentation from the sisters.
Speaking of the economic dimension of our religious life, we are more aware that we are touching the whole of our lifestyle : our community life, apostolate and how we live our evangelical counsels. Through the vow of obedience we called to look at the discernment we make the heart of the community to ensure that we own the decisions made together. This brings us to the reality of dependency on everything that the community offers us and to our superiors. A call to be responsible in our daily choices, of common things and taking care of the properties we own as the community. Thus we are called to revisit our attitudes and relationships with each other and to material things.
Relating it to the vow of chastity we are called to remember on what we need to detach to for the good and to avid accumulation and at the same time to learn to be patient when our needs cannot be met immediately. It is through the vow of poverty we are called to live simply just like our brothers and sisters around us so that we become authentic witnesses of Christ I our mission and in the world. Like the first Christian community we will encourage each other to put things in always as a means of becoming sisters to one another and that whatever we have is for the service of all. We will live to cherish the challenge of Pope Francis to each one of us that “LESS IS MORE.”
With great enthusiasm we wish to underscore the importance of drawing the project together as a body. Obeying the spirit present during the general chapter we are obliged to draw provincial project, community and personal project. For our projects to be authentic we must consider our realities and discern together what wish to live. This calls for listening to the groaning of our people, full participation in giving views, commitment to the decision made and investing time to discern and approve the decisions made so as to own the project.
Personal project becomes a spiritual means that enlightens us in our following of Christ, thus giving us the possibility of acting on our own life. It remains a call and a gift even in times of crises and being a spiritual exercise, we should put concrete means to help us evaluate it. This calls us to prioritize on what we wish to concentrate on as a means of personal transformation. It is in the community that we live our project and thus we need to share and dialogue about it to be challenged on how to remain authentic. All in all there is a need to reread our projects regularly for the adjustment and confirmation that what we desire to live from the project gives meaning to our daily life.
We express our heartfelt gratitude to all of you who have supported us all this time in Auteuil very specially Sister Martine and the four councilors working tirelessly in facilitating the session day in day out. Also in accompanying us very closely to help us deepen what we receive. We are nourished and we have drunk with delight from the generosity of our sisters and we wish to share the riches we hold with our provinces and especially with our specific communities as a means of expressing our gratitude for supporting us in all means. We wish you all God’s blessing.