Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary 2021
“Let us all rejoice in the Lord, on this Solemnity of the Virgin Mary”
Liturgy of the day
First of all, I wish to express my thanks to you for having accompanied me with your prayers, your messages and your closeness. I am much better, recovering though slowly but steadily and well.
Let me walk through with you the journey we had undergone so far.
In March 2020 we found ourselves immersed in a totally new, unexpected, unprecedented historical time, our life since then has changed. In an instant the normal rhythms of life has altered.At first, we experienced surprise and uncertainty then we resumed the journey.
It was necessary to reorient our life and our mission. It was a matter of renewing the “creative fidelity” that allowed us to move on, to evaluate the different situations that emerged and to achieve the objectives that seemed most appropriate to respond to the new emerging contexts.
It is a journey that requires the light and guidance of the Spirit, dialogue with the members of the Provincial and Delegation Councils and on-going communications with other Congregations. It is a time in which we have experienced the richness of inter-congregationality.
All Institutes of consecrated life have felt the need for common reflection in order to search together the best way forward. The after-effects caused by the pandemic have pushed us to greater collaboration. We have not experienced situations of inertia and stasis, but we have felt the need to pause, to reflect, to share our intuitions, intensify our collaboration and teamwork.
We experienced more deeply what it means to set out on a journey together, we felt it as a call that needed new answers, an itinerary inside and outside of us in fidelity to Christ, to the Church, to our Charism and to our sisters and brothers in the world.
We are in the month of August 2021, 7 months have passed since the beginning of the year; they have been months filled with specific and important events in our Institute: appointment of the Councils of the Organism, virtual meetings at different levels and with different groups:
encounters with all the members of the new Councils, meetings to respond to the needs and requirements of the Provinces / Delegations, and in some cases of the Regions. These meetings have fostered greater interaction and knowledge among all the members of the Councils.
In May I participated, via zoom, at the “Plenary Assembly” of the General Superiors of UISG and USG (i.e. the feminine and masculine religious congregations) It is the first time in which we have participated together as Superiors Generals of both the male and female religious congregations. We have deepened some aspects of the Encyclical “Fratelli tutti”, we have interacted, listened to and shared the life of our Institutes. We have been able to grasp the salient aspects of the consecrated life in the Church and in the world.
Discernment with respect to the realization of the General Chapter required time, listening, evaluation of the situation of each Organism to see if its realization was possible. The listening and the decision involved all the Councils of the Organisms. The impossibility of ensuring the presence of a significant number of Sisters and the infeasibility of voting by zoom led us to decide collegially to postpone the XVII General Chapter to August 2022.
This change has affected the timing of the various programs, which normally guide the path of the Organisms. One of the most significant changes was to begin in each Province and Delegation the realization of the Chapter Resolutions proposed and voted on at the Provincial
Chapters and the Delegation Assemblies without having to wait for the celebration of the General Chapter. These Resolutions do not apply to the whole Institute, but only to the life of the Organisms to revitalize the consecrated life and the mission of one’s own Organism.
The last meetings on the virtual platform took place in July 2021 with the participation of all the Provincial and Delegation Councils, coordinated and facilitated by M. Anne Tan. The two days meeting had as their objective the mutual listening to begin a common reflection, which will be
communicated to all the Sisters of the Organisms, with respect to the possible external reconfiguration of the Regions, which as I had communicated in the introduction to the meeting of 26 and 28 July 2021. The Regions “are structures born between 1997 and 2009 and exist over a period of 24 years” that have given positive contributions. However, at this point of time, it needs a revisitation to revive its vitality and effectiveness.
This is the path the Institute has travelled so far and that we intend to continue and it is important that each one of you is aware of the journey we have traversed to this day. For this reason we are updating you.
Information and communication are fundamental elements for building and strengthening fraternity, they allow us to walk together even if in a different way towards the same goal, towards common goals, in evangelical-charismatic fidelity at the service of our sisters and brothers.
The Encyclical “Fratelli tutti” speaks to us of universal fraternity that must begin concretely with those around us, in this case, our sharing with you the processes that have begun and those about to begin.
In this “historical today” each of us is urged to respond creatively to a new call, to the invitations that the novelty of the Spirit suggests to each one personally, to the communities, and to the Institute.
“Women of the Word loving without measure…” with the theme of the Chapter we have set ourselves a very high goal, which only can be realized because we have been loved. Christ loves us, and we have been called and have been sent.
It is a constant inner movement moved by listening to the Word that invites us to continue the mission, leaving, when necessary, our security and the paths traveled so far.
The Holy Father, the Church, the realities that often emerge in a dramatic way invite us to go to the peripheries, to get closer to the vulnerable and the excluded. It is our vocation, and to respond it is necessary to take the first step; that of recognizing and accepting our own peripheries
and fragility. In this way we experience that it is He who sustains our consecrated life for the mission. It is He who strengthens our faith and our hope and we acknowledge that all that we have is a gift and is given to us to love and to serve.
Let us thank the Lord for the apostolic zeal that is manifested in different ways in the different Nations in which we are present. We are all driven by the same desire to be bearers of LIFE, to make Jesus known and loved in our Ministries and especially to the many who have lost the
meaning of life.
With the Assumption of Mary, we continue our pilgrimage, she is the icon of our future and she instills hope for all humanity.
On this feast of the Assumption, Magdalene expresses her desire to Mother Elena Bernardi: “If only I could go to Heaven and kiss the feet of my dear Madonna!…”: to be beside her to “kiss her feet”, a language that we no longer use, but which expresses her great love for Mary, the true
Foundress who gave birth to our Institute.
May she intercede for each one of us to continue to be faithful, to be creative and be persevering witnesses.
Happy Feast Day!
With the Councilors I greet you with affection.