It is at the heart of the Province of Senegal that we deepen the 2011 Chapter orientation on Internationality. We live it in our Provinces, Regions and Missions as well as in most of our communities. Internationality is a mission. One day my daughters will cross the seas. Isn’t this concrete reality of our communities a call for all of us to welcome the richness each one brings, a call to solidarity, to promotion of our missionary élan, to keep our unity alive and to strengthen our family spirit?
We are at the heart of our apostolic mission, with the diversity of our commitments, as we live the charism of Marie Rivier in fidelity.
What is its foundation? What is it that creates unity in the diverse ways in which we live our charism of “education of the faith”?
The foundation: the Word of God. Whatever our apostolate, our service, our situation, we are all committed to the mission of the education of the faith. Pope Francis: To invest in education is to invest in hope.
By his words, he confirms our mission: May people see in your lives, may they read in your lives the Gospel. Does this not come close to Marie Rivier who said: Let us be an open Gospel.
What are our places of evangelization ? We think that we are faithful to Marie Rivier’s intuition: A sister of the Presentation of Mary has no other country than the whole earth that belongs to the Lord. That is why she wanted to have a thousand lives.
Sister Madeleine Mendy and Sr Ginette Badiane shared with us the « fire » of new foundations : in Ghana and in Burkina Faso. We also reflected together on new possibilities for evangelization on the horizon.
Let us move forward in hope!
A day of visits where we had the joy of meeting our sisters in three communities: Yoff, Provincial House and Thiès. We felt very much at home. The same spirit, the same zeal animates us all. In these three communities the students greeted us with songs and dances, even the children two and three years old. Yes, our mission of education of faith, the desire to make Jesus Christ known and loved is truly alive in the daughters of Marie Rivier. The photos say it all … the joy you see on the faces and in the hearts.
Late afternoon, we prayed Vespers with the Monks of Keur Moussa. A beautiful liturgy followed by a short meeting with the Abbot. We then visited the monastery of the Benedictine Sisters at Keur Guilaye.
Along the way, our guide, Sister Jeanne Marie Sambou helped us discover the beauty and the projects for the future of this region.
After a good rest, we will be ready for another day of work.
A new day begins ! A day filled with sunshine ! A day that invites us to deepen one of the three orientations of the 2011 Chapter: the vows – our commitment lived in fidelity as Sisters of the Presentation of Mary.
As Councils (Provinces and Mission) the participants reflected and named the challenges of each of the three vows.
What is essential ? Cultivating joy and faith. At all times, coming back to the community dimension of our vows.
Later in the afternoon, we look at the new technologies that are changing our world. They are creating new ways of thinking, acting and relating. They are a challenge that we need to face and give value to. But they also require discernment, a critical mind, creativity and innovation. They are important instruments at the service of education and evangelization. They have a great impact on our personal and community living.
After this very full day, we deserve a day of rest. It is foreseen for tomorrow.
It is under a beautiful blue sky and a gentle heat that we begin this week of session as well as the week of prayer for the Unity of Christians. We are in communion with all of you.
Our day was facilitated by Jean Marie Thior, Brother of the Congregation of Saint Gabriel. He has a broad background in religious life: former Provincial Superior, Formation Director, educator … etc. He is presently General Secretary for Catholic Education in Senegal.
Topic of his conferences :
Particular points :
- The challenges according to the vision of Pope Francis :
- Living in joy : Challenging questions led us to a deep reflection on the quality of the gift of ourselves to God. How can we remain in the joy of this gift.
- Keeping the flame of prophecy alive :
We are called to follow the Lord in a prophetic way. Rooted in our charism, are we truly prophets, in the name of Jesus today?
- Having a heart that is fluid
To know how to cry, to be compassionate and merciful.
- Going out toward the existential peripheries
What does it mean? To go towards all that touches the heart, my heart and that of others.
What does that mean for us as Sisters of the Presentation of Mary?
- The challenges that religious life must face today :
Fidelity to community life
Fidelity to the witness of our lives
Fidelity to a life of prayer
Living the first Beatitude: Blessed are the poor in spirit.
Let us move forward in hope and in joy!