Keywords of the general chapters 2006-2018Let us retrace the path traced in the last three chapters, the fruit of a past that has raised questions and seen lives donated and sacrificed for the missionary ideal. Becoming aware of the journey, enables us to appreciate and grasp the importance of the general chapters, the value and beauty of the process began with the foundresses and that which continues to this day.

2006 – Evangelizing in dialogue.     

It was an important General Chapter in the history of the Congregation because with it the process of defining the founders of the Institute concluded. A long and careful study of the charismatic sources and constant discussions with specialists from a previously established commission helped the chapter members to discern in the Spirit and to recognize the role of each of the protagonists in the foundation: the foundresses, the inspirer of the Charism and the co-founder. Now a clear direction opens up before our sisters spread over the whole world.

The key word that guided the journey was Dialogue. At the gates of the third millennium, we felt the urgency of entering into dialogue with the world to grasp its new challenges and continue to proclaim the Gospel in a constantly changing reality of paradigms and values. We entered into dialogue with our origins to arrive at a charismatic clarity that defines us as a congregation after a long journey. It is with this clarity that we can concretely respond better to the various challenges present in the world. In Dialogue with God we became aware of being constantly attracted by Him and certain of being living instruments of his work by virtue of our Consecration. Only by taking care of the dialogue between us can we give to the world a credible witness, with the conviction that we are in a continuous process of formation and in the constant effort to orient goods and people to the service of the Kingdom.

It is in this chapter that we recognize Mother Igilda’s desire to have spiritual columns as achievable, and the doors are opened to all those who wish to share our Charism as lay people.

 

2012 – Weak Instruments to sow beyond the frontiers with Jesus, Apostle of the Father.

The journey continues. After having defined the role of those who we once called protagonists and reflecting ourselves in them, we can trace the strong lines of our Trinitarian missionary spirituality, which has Jesus, apostle of the Father, sower and seed, as its center, and Mary, Queen of the Apostles as its companion on the journey. A new step that greatly helps us discover our charism, our style of mission and our deepest identity. This proceeding gives new enthusiasm and, once again, is the fruit of a long journey of study and sharing with all our sisters in the world. A slow journey leads us to recognize evermore the paths desired for us by God.

The symbol chosen to characterize the chapter is a seed. It represents the sowing of the Gospel, whose seed must open and germinate to bear fruit. The seed and the sprout are fragile. The seed represents Jesus in the paschal mystery. The world above the seed represents the place where the seed is launched and blossoms.

The key words are Jesus, Apostle of the Father, sower and seed. In light of these characteristics, we are helped to review our Missionary Choices in the world with its new challenges that we have tried to identify. This spirituality must strengthen and support Evangelical Relationships in increasingly international and intercultural communities, and give “color” to our style of insertion into the Local Church. The Missionary Spirituality, progressively clear and defined, strengthens and supports us to reach choices that help us live our charism in a more significant and dynamic way in today’s changed situations. The word together already peeks out between the lines and the question returns: how to live the Ad Gentes, Ad extra and ad Vitam?

2018 – Prophetic communities that announce the Gospel in the peripheries of the world

The chapter in 2018 invited us to be the prophecy, illuminating the darkness of humanity, allowing ourselves to be enlightened by Christ to cross the roads that divide the world. Roads known, but abandoned because they create division and are inadequate for the current time and moment. In the colors that blend together, divinity and humanity mix and we become witnesses. The path passes through the world, dynamic and capable of changing direction at any moment to respond to the “living colors” of the Kingdom that comes. The colors, original and different, create unity in diversity.

It is in this chapter that we have taken a further step: approving the revised Constitutions in the light of the definition of our foundresses, the inspirer of the Charism, the co-founder and of the characteristics of our missionary spirituality. It is time to live and embody them with more clarity and determination.

Once again, the hard work of a commission has borne important fruits by proposing to the chapter members a text of the revised Constitutions, elaborated in the light of the commission’s contribution, collecting suggestions from all the communities who were invited to read and reflect on the prepared text. A long and meticulous work by the commission to which we are still grateful today. The revised Constitutions, with updated language and respecting the current lines of theology and missiology, were handed over to the chapter members. What a great wealth! The order of the chapters has changed; the center is Jesus, the Apostle of the Father, sower and the seed. In this, we must reflect our obedience that makes us recognize ourselves as sent by the Father. A free and conscious obedience that makes to give one’s life for the proclamation of the Kingdom.

The key word now is together. The innovations included in the revised Constitutions shed light on the path of the chapter members to reflect on the mission. The need to open new presences and take on new challenging ministries, with courage and determination, has been reaffirmed. We are invited to recognize what are the paths of evangelization today and with what missionary style we must live our apostolate.  Once again, we recognize ourselves as Ad Gentes, Ad Extra and Ad Vitam, with our whole life and for our whole life, but together as an Apostolic Body, taking on the effort and grace of looking beyond our geographical borders.

Together as sisters united by the same Charism and in communion with the Lay MSIs’ who recognize themselves as those who share the missionary Charism with us. We see in them a vocation within a vocation, which gives color and life to their lay state and we find them included as a living and present reality in our Constitutions.

International prophetic communities at the service of the Kingdom to testify to the world that communion in diversity is wealth and a gift for the world. Universal fraternity is possible. Together on the journey of formation, to grow from initial formation with the awareness of being a body with different members that walk together towards the definitive Kingdom.

In the journey made from 2006 to 2018 we notice how we are constantly in dialogue with the world, with God and among us. We recognize in it the work of the Holy Spirit. In this journey full of graces and challenges, new questions have arisen. We have traced paths, revisited important themes, reached goals and opened new horizons. Processes have been started that have helped us to feel more and more like an apostolic body and have stimulated us to grow together towards a common goal. They are important moments in our history, in which we are all, directly or indirectly, called to participate. For all this, we give thanks to God and to all the sisters who collaborated in various ways and times. As we approach a new Chapter, may the Spirit enlighten us so that each one can make their own contribution in building a new section of this journey that we are traveling towards the realization of God’s Will for all of us.

Sr. Rosanna Marchetti, North Brazil

 

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