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26 Sisters gathered for the Applicative Phase of the Delegation of Australia Chapter Assembly from 3rd to 6th January 2023.

On the first morning of the Chapter Assembly, the Capitular Sisters celebrated a Holy Spirit Mass which filled them with hope and trust in God. The Sisters’ energy set an atmosphere of joy and enthusiasm as they began their journey of listening and dialoguing with God and one another. Sr. Karon Donnellon rsm, who facilitated the first phase of the Delegation Chapter in 2019, accompanied the Sisters as an external moderator.

Delegate Leader, Sr Melissa Dwyer in her opening address reminded the Sisters of all that has happened in the life of the Delegation during the past 3 years, expressing gratitude for the journey made together. She reminded the Sisters that “we walk first of all as Women of the Word – women of faith for whom our relationship with God beckons us to love without measure. We walk on our journey towards holiness, conscious that we are called to be women of mission, in and for the people of Australia today.”

Over the 4 days, the Sisters prayed, reflected, shared and dreamt together in response to our invitation to be “Women of the Word who love without measure”. This theme was explored in view of the Gospel values and our Canossian charism through the lens of inculturation and interculturality within our Australian context.

Together the Sisters unpacked the XVII General Chapter Document. They spent time deepening various sections of the document and discerning how the resolutions and recommendations of the General Chapter are to be lived out in Australia. Sisters became ever more conscious of the importance of integration in life, so as to become women of faith who are open to walk with the signs of the times.

A number of proposals were sent to the Chapter Assembly, which challenged the Sisters to widen the tents of their hearts and explore how we can continue to be vessels for God to continue to use amongst the people of this country. Likewise, to the drafts of the Delegation Statues were thoroughly discussed, prayerfully discerned and voted on.

At the conclusion of the Delegation Chapter Assembly, Sr Melissa presented to the Sisters of the Delegation the new Spiritual Commitment of 2023 which renews our commitment to be attentive to the ways God speaks to us in daily life. Challenging the Sisters to make bold ministerial choices, open to new styles of fraternal and ministerial life and evangelical leadership, each one of us are invited to be Women of the Word and to let “the Word” be listened to, treasured and shared.

United in faith we entrust our new vision to the Holy Spirit asking God to keep us open on the journey of being transformed for a life of holiness and mission in the world today.  We pray for the grace to continue to make visible with our lives the Charism of charity entrusted to each one of us.

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