On Monday, October 22nd thirteen Filles de Jésus de l’Alberta gathered for a day of reflection that proved to be both affirming and challenging. Jeannette Filthaut SP, invited us to explore our experience of closing some doors and daring to open new doors not knowing where they will lead us.
Door of Action/Evaluation – Where we’ve been
Jeannette led us through a rereading of where we have journeyed in our quest for ‘Simplification of Structures’ and ‘visioning changes’ as we face the reality of aging and diminishment in number. We noted that, though we are no longer a Vice-province, we stay intimately connected with the Filles de Jésus of Province Canada through the Charism, mission, affection and communication.
Door of Transformation – Personal – Communal
How does Transformation happen? Jeannette guided us through the process of transformation via the image of the Monarch Butterfly and the meaningful poem by Margo Ritchie entitled ‘Milkweed’, a poem of The Wisdom Years. Transformation always begins with change, thus a need for healthy grieving. Jeannette gave a handout entitled ‘The Gift of Grieving’ by Dorothy Heiderscheit, OSF reminding us that ‘When one door closes, another opens…’ In the process of transformation there is always a time of waiting in darkness, of breaking down of the known into mush, into waiting for wings to form. We were asked the question ‘What Doors Are Opening Now?’ Our Rule of Life – Inspired by the Charism of our Founders (p.18, 19 #6, #7) helped us in our reflection and sharing on this question.
Door of Compassionate Loving Community
Jeannette left us with three very challenging questions which require follow-up.
- What are we to do with the energy and time we do have, with the collective wisdom among us now?’
- What is ours to do so that the final years of our Sisters are as meaningful and engaging for mission as they can be?
- What are you, as a community of Filles de Jésus in Edmonton, being called to leave behind so that you may open the door of a more compassionate loving community to witness your story to others?
We leave you too, companions on the journey, with the three challenging questions, for we are all experiencing some Doors Closing and other Doors Opening to live our wisdom years as meaningful and engaging for mission as they can be.
Doreen Victoor fj, Edmonton, AB, Canada