Here I am, Lord! This expression expresses the joy and a feeling of wholeness that each of us experienced today, 12 March, the day of the official opening of our General Chapter. Finally, after two years and six months of waiting, as Sr. Françoise reminded us in her inaugural speech, we are all gathered in the Cenacle so that the Spirit of God, who has led us throughout these last years, confirms the path we have walked so far and reveals to us the will of God for the Institute.
With jubilant hearts, we participated in the opening Mass of the Chapter, in a spirit of synodal communion, in deep union with all the sisters of the Institute worldwide who celebrated with us online.
During the homily, Cardinal João Braz d’Aviz – Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life – invited us to continue along the path of listening to the Word of God and to follow Jesus in order to become and to learn anew how to be his disciples. According to him, it is important to go out to meet the other and to strengthen our sense of belonging to the common “HOME”, the place where trust is built, the relationship with the other is developed, where we feel welcomed and not judged. He wanted us to have a heart that was open to change, seeking God’s will and not our own.
Sr. Françoise invited us to listen to the Word of God, deepening it, sharing it and putting it into practice with fidelity and constancy. We cannot follow Jesus without listening to his Word.
The rest of the day was spent firstly going through the usual formalities of starting a Chapter and deeper sharing in two sessions, first in smaller groups and then in plenary session. The aim was to share and deepen our ideas about the Chapter, our expectations, our awareness and our role as capitulars.
Once again referring to Sr. Françoise’s speech, we can say that in the next few days we have the responsibility to seek God’s will for the Institute. Let us allow the breath of the Spirit to blow upon us!