Dear Sisters and Associates,
During the February/March Executive Committee meeting, the Provinces and the Mission in Botswana were asked to share ways that they have brought life to our General Assembly 2013 Vision and Directives. Our hearts were filled with wonder and gratitude as we reflected on the energy, creativity and fidelity we saw in the reports.
Over the next four weeks we will share those reports. We invite you to take them to prayer, thanking our God for all that has been accomplished, imagining all our Sisters and Associates around the world who have given of themselves, and asking the Spirit to guide us to new places for the sake of the SCN Mission and the Gospel.
If you want to share any of your reflections about what you read over these four weeks, please email them to Brenda Gonzales, SCN (firstname.lastname@example.org) or mail them to her at P.O. Box 172, Nazareth, Ky 40048. On the fifth week, we will share those reflections with you as well.
At the General Assembly we sang over and over again, “You are the heart. You are the hands. You are the voice of Spirit on earth. And who you are and all you do is a blessing to the world.” Let us rejoice in the ways we have lived those words.
(For Sangeeta, Brenda, Adeline, Ann, Basanti, Kay, Philo, Sheela and Tonya)
- Began weekly contemplative prayer as a team and invited the Congregation to do the same.
- Participated in lectures on Merton, Spirituality of Systemic Change, Ilia Daleo’s talk on Cosmic Consciousness.
- Susan spoke as part of a panel at Simone Campbell’s talk at Bellarmine in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Vatican II.
- Reading and reflecting on various contemporary theological/world issues across cultures and from different perspectives.
- The Sisters spent one half hour every day in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament – this practice is observed in most of the Local Communities, either in the morning or in the evening.
- Most of the Local Communities join the Congregation in adoration from 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm (IST).
- Community retreats have been made by two-thirds of the Province; the rest will make it in May of this year. This retreat has not only community building sessions but theological reflections on Religious Life in Asia/India Context, sharing of spiritual experiences, etc.
- The schools conduct inter-religious prayer services occasionally. In some schools, October 2nd is observed as “Sadbhavana Diwas,” a day of dialogue among different religious groups.
- Yoga, meditation, religion classes, etc. are conducted in several schools.
- Practice one half hour prayer in silence (contemplation) before the community prayer.
- Join the Congregation in contemplative prayer.
- 76 Sisters made community retreat based on the outcome of the Province Assembly 2012, conducted by the Resource Team.
- Four Sisters made contemplative retreat in Alahabad directed by Fr. Joe Manavellil, S.J. and Fr. Joe Janarakulam, S.J. in November, 2013.
- 10 Sisters made contemplative retreat in Ranchi directed by Fr. Mario D’Souza In October, 2013.
- Yoga and 10 minute meditation is practiced in all the schools administered by the SCNs.
- Inter-religious prayer is conducted for the staff and the students 2-3 times a year and for the staff and collaborators of the Health and Social Centers.
- The Province Board keeps a half-day prayer before the Province Board meeting.
- Social action group had a day of contemplative prayer before their annual ministry meeting on December 16, 2013.
- Five Novices had Ashram experience in Varanasi.
- Some Sisters have started reading books on contemplation and mysticism.
- During Leaders’ meeting, one session was conducted on Spirituality and Mysticism on December 12, 2013.
- Ann Billard, OLM gave a one-day workshop on Transformative Aging in Louisville. This workshop will be repeated for St. Louise Convent in April 2014. She also gave a four-day retreat on the same topic at Nazareth and this retreat may be repeated at St. Louise Convent next year as an extension of the workshop there. These experiences provided a beautiful opportunity for our Sisters to reflect upon their lives together, deepen their spirituality and become more aware that they have a mission at this time in their lives. These workshops and retreats were coordinated through Nazareth Retreat Center.
- The Province Leadership Team spent two weeks in Belize to deepen our awareness of the many cultures in Belize and to have our spirituality deepened by the experience. While there we read the theological material written by Indian authors that were provided by the Central Leadership Team.
- The Nazareth Retreat Center held a Merton Retreat on Meditation and provided an online Advent Retreat. Edwina Gateley is scheduled to give a retreat on “Mystics and Prophets” with a special emphasis on women mystics.
- Novice Marie Flowers was asked, as part of her apostolic year, to have an intercultural experience in Belize. It is hoped that the experience in Belize will deepen her spirituality and provide for theological development across cultures and from different perspectives.
- The Breaking the Cycle of Poverty and Violence (BCPV) Committee is planning a convocation that hopefully will deepen our SCN spirituality through contemplation and dialogue on the topics of Poverty and Violence with special emphasis on women and immigrants.
- We have integrated American, Indian and African forms of spirituality in our prayer, worship and culture.
- We have brought a contemplative dimension into our personal and communal prayer, and also in our prayer with the Associates and other groups.
- During the Year of Faith there were opportunities to deepen and grow in our spirituality.
- New community members who come to the country are given time to learn the language, culture and the spirituality of the people.
- Being appreciative and non-judgmental of cultural diversities.