In section: SNJM Life

Follow-up to the Acts of the 33rd General Chapter

On Saturday, February 18th, twelve Sisters and “Marylrose Associates” gathered at Marylrose Residence to read, pray over and reflect on the Acts of the Thirty-Third SNJM Chapter. 

The first part of the day was devoted to become aware of the general content of the orientations given by this Chapter. The reading of the Quetzal story, personal interiorisation and a commitment to the call of the Holy Spirit in the Acts took place. Prayer and the symbolic action of pouring a few drops of water from a pitcher into a basin were very significant.  This was followed by an enthusiastic singing of “Tous ensemble/All as One”.

In the afternoon, the session facilitated by Sister Beverley Wattling and Linda Wiltshire, Associate, opened with the acknowledgement that SNJM’s are an international Congregation. We sang the hymn “Spirit of God” and read the title of the “Acts” in English, French, Spanish, Sesotho and Portuguese “doing the best we could.”  The Acts were read aloud and discussed in two sections: “Women in Interdependence for Mission” in the morning, and “Initiatives for Living Interdependence” in the afternoon. 

All were impressed by the beauty of the booklet itself: the reproduction of Mother Veronica’s quetzal bird, the water images throughout, as well as the quotes from Scripture, Vatican II and the highlighted words of Mother Marie-Rose. The aptness of the story of the quetzal bird to our situation was well appreciated.
We face the call of the Spirit to bring justice to an ailing world, to help to develop each person’s potential, as we ourselves dwindle in number and many of us, both Sisters and Associates, face the challenges that aging bodies and minds present.  It was a consensus that indeed these Acts, more than any of the previous Acts of Chapter, made clear the sense of call: that now is the time to act. 

It is with the help of the Spirit who calls us to act interdependently, in faith, hope and love that each of us will “be the best we can be with what we have and who we are”.

At the end of the day, during the closing prayer, the titles of the Acts were again read aloud in the five languages.  The day ended on an upbeat note as we sang together “We Are But A Moment” and each person left with a bottle of “water of our origins” from the Richelieu River and a water “droplet” to remind us of the day and of our commitment to live out the Acts of the Thirty-Third SNJM General Chapter.

All left feeling nourished, challenged and inspired.

Dorothy Guha, Associate

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