We continue the article with the testimonies of the delegates from Latin America and Canada.
Laura Mesa and Olga Abril from the Region Latin America
Laura Mesa from Chile and Olga Abril from Colombia speak to us first.
We are taking away with us
an immense treasure to share
with our Associates and those around us.
We have come to drink from the water and to acknowledge the roots of the Congregation :
- living in community,
- sharing multicultural realities,
- studying the same biblical texts.
What we have experienced has made us realize that we are the clay that God is molding step by step; we recognize our fragilities; we seek positive personal changes so that we can make our own witness known. We are invited to live the Charism and to cast our nets, with our sending out blessed by God and by you, the Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus of Kermaria, in all that you call Integral Ecology.
We can only thank you deeply for allowing us to participate in and to live your experiences, and for getting to know the realities of the world.
Rosalie Côté Vandermeer and Réjean Levesque from the Region Canada
« It is not you who has chosen me, but I who have chosen you. »
From the moment we arrived at the rue d’Arras in Paris, we felt at home. We found the same welcome we had at home, whether in Alberta or Quebec. With the hugs, we felt the joy of seeing someone we hadn’t seen for a long time, we were with our family. The next day we headed for Vannes or Kermaria.
The Chapter week began on Sunday 10 July with the arrival of all the Sisters and Associates with the same joy of meeting each other – seeing each other again – getting to know each other. We were all given directions to our rooms. it was really the beginning, and the excitement of the unknown began to dissipate. I saw new faces and was eager to know their names – where they came from – what they do in each of their settings. The conversation started and the Chapter took off.
Go out into the deep
The opening celebration of the General Chapter was the first highlight that touched Rosalie and me. Each Capitulant and Associate was invited, as their name was called, to take part in the Chapter by affirming that we were ready to go out into the deep and cast our nets at the request of the Lord. It was a very intense moment that touched me deeply, the columns of the inner temple were shaken, and it made me commit myself to active participation in the Chapter. We knew that Jesus was there and that he was with us on the road of community discernment.
Guided by Jacques and Maria Andrée for the whole Chapter, a first meeting was proposed to us. This was preceded by a time of personal prayer so that we could prepare our hearts for sharing with everyone. This allowed us, as Associates, to get to know our six countries of origin (Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Chile, Colombia, France and not forgetting our own, Canada) and to get to know each other better. In addition, each one explained how they came to be part of the Daughters of Jesus.
We were amazed to see that the Spirit of the Lord had already reached us on different roads and that the Spirit was calling us to follow Him as Jesus did and to honor the Sacred Humanity of the Son of God in each of our realities. We eight Associates came to the assembly in a climate of trust with a common experience of having encountered Christ. We all had the same Charism of the Daughters of Jesus in our hearts.
What spoke to us
We were following the same path as the Capitulants. Our time of prayer prepared us for sharing in small groups and then in assembly. With each step that Jacques and Maria Andrée proposed to us day after day, our voice as Associates adjusted itself to that of the Capitulants. It was no longer the Sisters and the Associates, but the voice of the Assembly that had discerned what the Spirit was asking of us.
Our voice, then, was a building block for the Congregation and together we carried in us the same desire to respond to God’s call for our world today by moving into the future with joy. We ended our week together as Daughters of Jesus and Associates with a festive evening of entertainment. It was a moment of joy and laughter. We noticed that the talents came simultaneously from all over the world. Thank you to the artists dressed in a thousand colors and for the sketch offered to us by “CAPI and TULANT”.
Rosalie and I would like to thank you for your trust and for the important space you have given us so that all of the Daughters of Jesus and Associates may say “Yes” to the Lord’s call, carrying in our hearts our Charism: “Honouring the Sacred Humanity of the Son of God”.
We wish to go out into the deep, let us cast our nets together.