The closing of the Congregational Gathering, today, was treated with utmost solemnity. To begin, (contrary to experience of less formal events) packing and preparing to leave did not, in any way, signal a premature distancing from the main tasks of the morning. All were in attendance at the designated time, dress was formal as before, and a sense of occasion pervaded the meeting space – evidence of the commitment which has marked this entire event. Read More ….
The end is in sight! Today was the day for final sign-off on the direction and decisions reached in the Gathering. We also selected the images which, in our view, communicate most powerfully the experience, the vision and energy which are here. Read More ….
This was a day to return to the experience, imagery and call of the early days of this Gathering, when we were immersed in the home-place of Nano and of Presentation. The draft texts of our emerging direction and commitments are almost ready, but the real energy in the experience of the last three weeks will not be communicated by words only. Finding ways to share this with all of our Sisters is the challenge of the moment.
Today was a ‘down to earth’ kind of day, when we delegates from 17 countries internationally worked together in themed groups, to bring to a synthesis the submissions, reflections and dreams which have occupied us throughout our three weeks of Congregational Gathering.
This day began with a celebration of Eucharist with Fr. John O’Brien CSsP, recently returned to Ireland after many years of missionary work in Pakistan. His commitment to sharing the good news of the Gospel has included significant work in Christian-Muslim dialogue. Read More ….
Our morning Mass was given beautiful focus with reference to the Pakistani symbol of the Duppatta or characteristic cloth shawl in all its significance. Congregation Gathering delegates worked throughout the morning towards refining all submissions, and further crafting the direction statement. This work is ongoing, but progressing well.
The afternoon was devoted fully to the election of our new Congregational Leader. When Sister Julie Watson was elected (close to 6 pm) the business of the day was clearly done, and after much congratulations and good wishes, a celebratory meal was enjoyed by all.
This was a ‘stop, look, listen’ kind of day, which we spent with Diarmuid Ó’Murchú MSC, well-known author.
The focus of Diarmuid’s talks in the morning was Religious Life in 21st Century. These provided much food for thought.
Most of today was spent doing further work on the proposals and recommendations that have been submitted to the Gathering from across the Congregation. While some of these will come, ultimately, to the floor for decision, others of their nature need to be passed on to the new Congregational Leadership Team or to the Units. Read More ….
Today we spent extended time with all the submissions to the Gathering – the ‘distilled wisdom’ from Contemplative Dialogue 4, as well as proposals and recommendations from communities, groups and individuals. Our facilitators are ensuring that nothing is lost … they inspire confidence in the process, and that all will be well.