Holy Week 2023

Dear Sisters,

This Lenten season has been a special time in our journey as an Institute. We are in the process of Consultation for the regional leadership and I thank each one of you who lives her role as a member in participation, disponibility and openness; incorporating this moment into her faith journey and, perhaps, living it as a desert experience.

The desert is the place of great temptations but also of great consolations; it is the place where God speaks of love to God’s people.

The desert is part of the journey to freedom. In it our deepest thirsts emerge powerfully and we get to know our own selves better. But we also experience that God can bring about water from the rock and above all give us back a heart of flesh, which has sometimes been hardened by various forms of slavery. In the journey of the desert we are exposed to unknown forces and we realize once again that without total trust in God we cannot walk towards Easter.

As members of the Institute, we live this moment, offering our life each day, in service to our beautiful and yet a complex and suffering world.

Following Christ, …
I offer my life
for the Church and for the salvation of the world.

I offer my life for the Church, to walk with her on a journey of listening and conversion. I offer myself for a world that faces great questions, in a time of transition, chaos and bewilderment… but, above all, for a world that is in the throes of change, of becoming a new creation. It is in this “primordial chaos”, where the spirit of the Lord “hovers”, that…

I offer my life.

Chaos is the place where hope and light acquire their purpose. Light is necessary in the darkness; hope is vital when discouragement prowls around looking for prey. It is in this moment, here and now, that we are called to live our mission.
How to live it? If it is in the following of Christ, there is no other way to live mission than as He does it, Christ offers Himself to the point of giving His life. Can we think that it will be any different for us?

“Why do you seek not to suffer?
As long as my Heart will be bloody, yours will also bleed:
you are Mary, the white rose; Passion, the red rose[1].”

Love is desire and offering. The surrendering of ourselves with passion as a self-offering cannot be lived without suffering. The grain of wheat must die to give life. It is enough to look around us, to find so many examples that encourage us to follow the same path.

“Why do you seek not to suffer?”

Suffering reminds us that we are indeed vulnerable. Suffering is beyond our understanding but it receives an awesome meaning when Jesus embraces it with love. Though it is not the end, the cross is however part of the journey. Without the passion of Love, the cross would be unbearable; with Crucified Christ, the cross acquires luminosity and glory, by His wounds we are healed[2]… the cross becomes glorious because it holds Jesus the Christ who opens for us the way to a new life, to the Resurrection. Through the arms of this Glorious Cross, Christ holds us, embraces us, and our broken lives receive meaning and direction… towards Easter.

When death seems to overcome hope, the Spirit reveals to us that life abides also in the chaos. And Jesus Christ appears in his glory and in His Easter, giving meaning to all creation.

Our end is not to die, our destiny is to rise again, because everything will pass but

love never comes to an end[3].

God is Love. God’s love is desire and offering. God is charity. Desire and Agape need to be nourished and become one within us. Otherwise we risk existing by short-lived gratifications that will leave us empty. The Washing of the feet takes our attention away from our different ‘selfies’ and brings us closer to our neighbour in an attitude of humility and conversion. Thus, by touching them, our hearts are moved and we experience mercy. The small gestures of resurrection make us taste right now that it is true! Love will never come to an end!

In the spirit of this “uphill”[4] Lenten journey, may we continue to sharpen our ears in attentive listening to the voice of God in the coming weeks and months of our process as an Institute.

With the General Council we have lived our first year since the General Chapter entrusted us with a beautiful and challenging mission that allows us to live intensely the AMEN to a life that emerges in a new way. This mission demands from us right faith, certain hope and perfect charity. They are our companions on the way to discern, together with the whole Institute, the ‘meaning and knowledge’[5] and to live with joy the ALLELUIA, our horizon and our fullness.

May the living and transforming experience of the Easter Triduum be present in us each day, to sing with Mary of Nazareth in her ECCE and FIAT.

Queen of Heaven rejoice, alleluia
Because the Lord…has risen as He said, Alleluia
Rejoice o Virgin Mary Alleluia
Because the Lord is truly risen. Alleluia.

With sisterly affection and my Easter greetings.

Eufemia Glenny, fmm
General Superior


[1] OUV 43, 1st. meditation (underlined as in original).
[2] 1 Pet 2:24
[3] 1 Cor. 13, 8.
[4] Pope Francis’ Lenten Message 2023.
[5] Prayer of St. Francis before the Crucifix of San Damiano: O High and Glorious God! Enlighten the darkness of my heart…