MISSION: A SACRED LIVING.
Missionary mandate: a grace and a challenge.
A nest is a place of spiritual peace, of action and sacrifice (letter to Fr. Manna, 3/671929). we the parting missionaries ten of us were privileged to be there in the nest house at Jondini, a historical house for us as our foundress mother Igilda has been living this house with her relatives as a place of rest and preparation for the mission. we had a 15 days of program starting from August 2nd to 16th, a week of course on “Missionary Mandate: A Grace and challenge” and a week of visiting the places, where Mother Igilda walked through. We had symbolic prayer service to initiate the program with an offering the flags of the nation to which we are destined, invoking Gods grace and blessing. this prayer was an open door for us for the rest of the course as we deepened our understanding of interculturality, internationality, Multi-Cross-Inter- cultural living from our constitution and from the writings of our foundresses. It was an eye-opening to analyze through the possible challenges and blessings of the intercultural living.
It was enriching to reflect on the three main aspects in parting to the mission, based on the life and mission of Jesus the radical missionary and St Paul. they are: Leaving, arriving and remaining, of each contains two-fold dimensions, the cross of leaving- loved ones, cherished things, being insecure and fear of future. The joy of leaving- Missionary dream becoming reality, choosing to do things new, new experience, expectations and hope. 2) the cross of arriving- Negative impressions, difficulties in understanding how things work, feeling weaker than expected, expectations, loneliness and comments. the joy of arriving- encountering new, desire to know more, discovering to be different, better and wanted. 3) the cross of remaining- difficulties in adjustment and understanding, tensions, health problems and discovering to be different. The joy of remaining- to tent amidst of new people, the joy of doing God’s will, feeling at home and understanding the situation.
The importance of discernment for a missionary in the light of “ Gaudete et Exsultate ” by Pope Francis was new enlightenment for us the parting missionaries. for discernment is a grace that gives the glimpse of the mysterious plan that God has for each person. It is a gift to be implored, a means of spiritual combat to follow the Lord more faithfully, a needful weapon of all time that leads to perceive Gods language. Discernment is not about discovering what more to do instead of recognizing how better we can accomplish the mission entrusted to us at our Baptism. Holy Spirit is the Agent that penetrates to the hidden things and leads us beyond. Mother Mary is the Model who discerned the will of God by treasuring Gods word in her heart.
It was enriching to affirm ourselves from the Article “ Mission and Consecrated Virginity ”. Our Baptismal consecration blooms in our virginal radicality because it is necessary that those who are intimately pervaded by the Spirit of the Risen Lord give their whole lives, and to stay with Jesus and with the sisters and brothers to whom they are sent for life. There are two-fold dimensions that really makes us as an assert for Christ mission 1) deep relationship with God through personal and community prayer, 2) active apostolic life, keeping the model of Jesus in His Emmaus Journey e.i to approach, listen, understand, acknowledge the positive and to dispel ignorance and disbelief.
we were led to the new insight as to understand, Mission as a Sacred dwelling and Missionary a foreigner, a guest in someone’s house. For this, we need to have a child like heart to depend on others and to learn. To the mission is a call of God to his chosen once towards his chosen people, therefore a scared living. with these new insights and reflection we went around nearby churches, the grotto dedicated to St. Joseph and Mary Immaculate, the place were mother Igilda met her friend Pia, it was a great time of prayer, amazement and a flashback of the history. we do have the chance to meet the people around our house, animated the feast celebration of the church close by Which was an opportunity to know the Italian culture. At the closing of the program, we went on pilgrimage to Our lady of Oropa, seeking Mother Mary’s accompaniment for our Mission.
We salute sincerely our Mother general Sr Antonella and her councillors, Sr Marisa and Sr Biji, the animators of the program, Sr Maria Antonia the provincial of Italy and all the provincials, Sr Gianna, Sr Angela and all the sisters, we are grateful to you for your visionary thoughtfulness for us the parting missionaries and for your visible and invisible contribution to make this event a meaningful and remarkable.
sr. Arul and sr. Elsie, parting missionaries to Hong Kong – China and Bangladesh.