- Les sessionnistes, dans le jardin des Petites Soeurs, encadrent le Père Pernet poru la photo souvenir !
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Having finished this meeting which took place between the 10th and 25th July at rue Violet in Paris, we would like to share with you a little of our experiences because we reflected on some extremely important topics which demand urgent response and action.
The first week, animated by a Belgian couple, Benoît and Ariane Thiran, co-founders of the Association « Sortir de la violence », permitted us to work on the culture of peace and non-violence. They proposed five stages in a process of overcoming conflict :
To discover the truth about the other and make it known.
To discover and recognize my mistakes and responsibilities and acknowledge them.
To reveal my truth beginning with the values on which we agree, and in the name of which I speak.
To outline the injustice, the problem.
To propose a concrete and realistic solution.
We reflected on the five stages in the light of Mark’s gospel with the main emphasis on the personal work each one of us had to do. The couple also gave us an outline of the sense and process of non-violent action.
The second part of the session, which also lasted a week, was animated by Father Gerard O’Conner, an Irish Franciscan, who has lived in El Salvador. He took us on a whirlwind excursion from the "Big Bang", across the history of the universe, the Bible, and the documents of the Fathers of the Church, up to the present day.
We marveled ; we were astonished ; we were surprised, impressed, bowled over, and challenged in a new way.
We were of the understanding that humankind was put on the earth to master and dominate creation, but we discovered that, in fact, being related to all other creatures, we belong to the same family, and this, therefore, leads to another type of relationship consisting of respect and responsibility, of interdependence and inter-connectedness between all living and non living systems on our planet.
In this context, we examined
water as a vital commodity,
the diversity of the species and the danger of their disappearance,
the oil crisis and the challenge to develop renewable energy.
A fresh look at our aims led us to see that religious life calls us to denounce the injustices and resist being suffocated by over consumption. We have a responsibility to protest, to draw people’s attention to our real needs, and to invent new life styles that show greater respect to the environment and are more oriented towards justice.
The final day was dedicated to a presentation and appeal from the Secretariat « Justice, Peace and Integrity for Creation » from the L.S.As., on their involvement at an international level within the United Nations.
It was impossible to share everything. But over and above our emotions, we became aware of the responsibility incumbent upon each one of us, and of everyone else. We wish to propose that we all live a more simple life (this is URGENT) because "We cannot remain indifferent to the increasing gap that separates rich and poor, or to the exaggerated over consumption of the resources of our planet and the disappearance of species." (Cardinal F.X. Nguyen Van Thuan, President of the Papal Council of Justice and Peace).
Fraternal greetings to all !
The groups present at this meeting included :
The Assumptionists ; Religious of the Assumption ; Orantes ; Little Sisters of the Assumption ; A.N.D.A., Oblates of the Assumption.