At the end of the afternoon of the 27th of July, we gathered together in the chapel to celebrate a thanksgiving mass after the election of the General Councillors and the constitution of the new General Council.
Introduction to the Mass by Sr Denise Lirette
It is with great joy that we welcome the new General Council this afternoon and say ‘Thank you’ to the outgoing team – Micheline, Marie-Annick, Irma, Patricia and Colette. With Christ, you have known how to navigate and throw the nets out into deep water. Thank you for the work you have accomplished. It is thanks to you that Patricia, Colette, Elisabeth, Dora, and Ruthina, will set off with a solid net.
This net represents each and every one of us. A single thread does not make a net. It is because it has been woven and knotted that a net becomes stronger and larger.
We advance together, therefore, in confidence to respond to the cry of the Earth and of the poor. Christ awaits us!
The members of the outgoing Council and of the new Council advance together to place the net in the décor before the altar :
- The net which each and every one of us accepted to throw at the opening celebration of the Chapter.
The former Superior General, Micheline, passes the large candle to the new Superior General, Sr Patricia :
- The candle to which a member of each entity attached the name of her entity at the beginning of the Chapter.
Gloria a Ti Señor, por Tu bondad,
Siempre cantare tu fidelidad.
Glory to you, Lord, for your bounty,
I will sing forever of your faithfulness.
The readings of the day
Srs Florence from Canada and Dora from Colombia read from the Prophet Jeremiah(15,10. 16-21) and from Psalm58.
« I am with you to save you and to deliver you . »
«My God, my God, You alone can comfort me.
Father Sébastien Guiziou’s homily
The Mass was celebrated by Father Sébastien Guiziou, Vicar general of the diocese of Quimper and Leon, who said to us in his homily :
The passage which we heard in the first reading from the Prophet Jeremiah evokes in a condensed form the importance of “bringing to mind” in order to go forward. Bringing to mind permits us to better put into perspective what the Lord is expecting of us today and in the future.
The elections of the General Superior and of the General Councillors have come at the heart of the Chapter. These are important services, which are assured with detachment and decentring of self, for the good of all.
- Thus, permitting the Sisters to always better accomplish what they have called, to deepen their lifelong vocation.
It is the charism of the founders.
- « To honour the Sacred Humanity of the Son of God, striving to imitate his virtues, especially his love» and to engage oneself on a way of humanity and humanization as Jesus did.
But this charism must also be actualized.
The pearl, (which Jesus speaks of in today’s Gospel) is therefore the charism, but the setting is the Rule of Life.
- Not understanding it as a series of rules, but rather as a regulation, that binds and creates the link, that sums up the communion between the Sisters of the Congregation.
Finally, let us recall that Jesus compared the Kingdom of Heaven to a merchant, someone who:
- listens, who observes, who takes council, who makes choices, who takes risks.
A General Council is also called to that. You, my Sisters who have been elected, may your service have its source in the Word of God, as the prophet Jeremiah lived it, and may your work have its roots in the charism of the Congregation so that it may be actualized for today and for the years to come.
The song of sending out
Llévame donde los hombres necesiten tus palabras,
necesiten mis ganas de vivir,
donde falta la esperanza,
donde falta la alegría,
dimplemente por no saber de ti.
Lead me where men and women
have need of Your Word,
need of my willingness to live
where hope is lacking,
where joy is missing
simply because they do not know You.
The celebration continues
The celebration continued with a reception in the dining room, enlivened by music and songs from every continent. We invited the sister of the resident community, from the Congregation of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit, to share our joy.