Very dear Sisters,
It gives me immense joy to address you this morning as you begin your journey together with Saint Marie-Eugenie during this Holy Season of the Easter Octave. A warm welcome to each one of you !
Sisters, you are in the motherhouse, in the land of Saint Marie-Eugenie. You have travelled from far and near to get here. Your provinces have made sacrifices to let you be free for this privileged moment in your life. Let this 3rd Year session be a time of grace, rereading, thanksgiving, renewal, and of counting the blessings in your life. May it be a time of healing for deeper communion to go forward in your consecrated life with greater enthusiasm, creativity, and commitment at the service of life.
This month we had a dangerous crane ready to fall on our motherhouse and a devastating fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris. What is God trying to communicate to us ? For me, it has been a powerful experience of God’s protection and wake-up-call to deepen our faith and build up our mother Church in these turbulent times. I would encourage you to develop a rhythm of attentive listening in order to be transformed by God’s grace. It is a golden opportunity for you to revisit the foundational experience of God in your personal life as well as in the life of your respective provinces. Let me ask you the following questions : Where are you or in what stage of life are you now ? How do you feel about yourself ? Are you experiencing a peaceful moment ? Are you tired, wearied ? Have you become stagnant ? What steps do you need to take to move forward ? What are the deepest desires of your heart ? What makes you happier and ultimately fulfilled in religious life ?
Over the coming weeks, you will have time for meaningful conversations with Saint Marie Eugenie about what is most important to you – good moments as well as what is not working in your life. You will have time to drink deeply from the rich resources of our charism. I invite you to deepen the General Chapter Themes : discernment, communion, and peripheries. I hope you can find time to reread, reflect and respond to the calls of the Chapter of 10th March 2019.
My prayer for you is that you seek out the voice of the Spirit in the most unexpected ways, giving thanks to God for the many blessings of your life, looking for the ‘gifts of your failures’ and trying to do small things to renew your mind, body, and spirit. The journey thus implies taking risks in identifying your peripheries, allowing yourselves to be renewed in order to go back to your respective provinces as GOOD NEWS to your communities, at the frontiers of life and mission, always in favour of God’s choices, in conformity to the will of God.
I thank Sisters Irene Cecile and Isabelle Roux for preparing this session with vision, much love and enthusiasm, and special attention to the details. You have two wonderful Sisters with an excellent supporting team to accompany you. Your journey will be completed by a one-month retreat, and that will be a grace-filled time for you. Enjoy it, have fun together and be renewed in body, mind and spirit !
With all my love and Blessings !
Rekha M Chennattu, RA