The beauty and colors of the trees and bushes outside were reflected by the autumn decor and ambiance in our gathering room. The handouts included the full text of the 2016 Chapter Acts, excerpts from our SNJM Congregational Policies and Guidelines on charism and associate commitment, reflection questions and other texts.
The focus of the morning session was the environment, gift of our Creator, in the light of the 2016 General Chapter Acts and Scripture. With ritual and songs based on the Book of Genesis, we viewed Laudato Si, A Canadian Perspective, a superb video, followed by a reflective presentation on openness, welcoming and caring for the Earth, our Mother, during which, we heard the urgency to act in our day-to-day lives. The video included a very informative four-page general summary of Laudato Si.
In the afternoon, the focus was on our SNJM Charism of education in the faith, with a reference to Sunday’s Gospel from Luke. “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?” We heard the call to share our faith, to live our faith, especially within the context of the 2016 Chapter Acts, in whatever path of life God has called us (married, single, religious), attempting to cast fire on the earth as Marie-Rose did.
The video,Fire upon the Earth, which recalls Eulalie’s life, mission and legacy to us was shown; followed by a presentation on Mission and Ministry, especially in light of the Chapter Acts, inviting us to be called to more.” What is this more? More actions? Deeper awareness? Enlightened conviction? Recalling the cry of the earth and the plight of refugees and immigrants, we were reminded of the call in the Acts to live a spirituality of welcome.
A very special moment took place when we each shared why we became Associates or Sisters. It brought out the rich tradition and heritage that is ours as English-speaking Associates and Sisters of Quebec. The strong and enduring relationship between and among us is unique!
During the ceremony of the renewal of promises and vows in the chapel, each one was called by name to share aloud her/his ministry for the coming year, in addition to how she/he would strive to commit to a specific action to care for the Earth, our common home. The day ended with pizza, wine, decadent desserts and a wonderful feeling of gratitude.
This was an historic day. The professionalism, creativity, and effective spiritual leadership demonstrated by the Retreat Committee and our musician and technology person are powerful expressions of Associate leadership in our time.
We can almost hear Mother Marie-Rose saying to us: “Well done! You do me proud!”