Congregational Spirituality Team meets

Planning to develop a worldwide spirituality network 

Who participated in the meeting?

Sr Noreen O’Shea, Coordinator, Congregational Spirituality Centre, Angers (Chair)

Sr Hanan Youssef, Lebanon/Syria (Continental Link Person, RIMOA)

Sr Irma Del Valle Gallo, Argentina and now based at the Congregational Spirituality Centre (Continental Link Person, South America)

Sr Raquel Toledo Contemplative Sister, Canada (Continental Link Person, North America)

Ms Melinda Stricklen, Mid North America (Mission Partner, Continental and Province Link Person, North America)

Ms Jane Marie Ng,  Singapore-Malaysia, (Mission Partner, Province Link Person)

Sr Vivienne Fernando Contemplative Sister, Ireland (Province Link Person)

Sr Pelagie Ratsaramananjato, The Isles (Province Link Person)

Sr Maria Los Morales Rodas Contemplative Sister, International Contemplative Community, Angers

Sr Caroline Price, Australia/Aotearoa New Zealand (Continental Link Person, Asia Pacific)  (Minutes)

Sr Anne Josephine Carr (CLT Link Person), in attendance, and translated French/English.

Sr Odile Laughier (consultant) Province of BFMN Europe (present on Thursday 22 May).

(Photograph Left to Right:  Pelagie, Caroline, Jane, Irma, Noreen, Odile, Anne Josephine, Hanan, Vivienne, Melinda, Raquel, Maria Los)

About the work of the Committee to date

The Congregational Spirituality Committee has been meeting since 2010.  The Four Aspects of the work of the Congregational Spirituality Committee grew out of a 2009 session on Spirituality.  That session made certain recommendations to the Congregational Leadership Team which led to the establishment of the Congregational Spirituality Committee, to work with the Congregational Spirituality Centre.  

Outcomes of this meeting

Initiative 1.  Develop a coordinating body to develop a worldwide spirituality network 

The set up of the Congregational Spirituality Committee to work with the Spirituality Centre based in Angers, is part of this initiative.  Naming continental link persons, and province link persons for spirituality was another part.  For us here in Asia Pacific this began after the last Intercontinental Assembly and we were well established before other parts of the Congregation.  Our meeting in Indonesia in March 2013 brought us together, and has kept us in touch ever since.

Initiative 2.  Research and Translation, Sharing Resources   

The workshop held in Indonesia on the database of material and human resources was the big project for this initiative.  An update given to us by the Congregational Archivist shows that some provinces have yet to fully respond.  And in the next few weeks, those provinces will receive a request from Sr Noreen regarding this.  The database has been a big project and will be the first time that we as a Congregation have this information all together in one place. 

Initiative 3.  Shepherding in 21st Century  

Sr Noreen O’Shea, Coordinator of the Congregational SpiritualityCentre, had worked with a theologian on a series of resource reflections on Shepherding in the 21st Century. These were developed to share with the Congregation.  However, they have been ‘on hold’ because we have had other reflections and papers regarding the Journey of Enrichment and preparation for the Province Chapters and Congregational Chapter.  These reflections may be developed into retreat resources, and eventually they will be available on the Congregational website.

Initiative 4.  New ways of seeing our spirituality and identity in the light of the cosmological perspective

During the previous meeting of the Spirituality Committee in Argentina, a workshop was held with Sister Gail Worcelo.  Gail had worked with the Contemplative Sisters at their Contemplative Intercontinental Assembly in Quito, Ecuador in 2008. And the Contemplative Council requested the Spirituality Committee to work on this initiative, on their behalf.  It has taken time to get these resources together, but now the Notes and a powerpoint resource are available on the international website:  www.buonpastoreint.org

Extensive notes were taken by Sr Noreen O'Shea during the workshop.   If you or the sisters in your unit would like more information, please contact Sr Noreen O'Shea at the Congregational Spirituality Centre. 

You can also look at the website for Sr Gail Worcelo:  www.greenmountainmonastery.org   It describes the work she does and what the monastery stands for.  There is a YouTube clip available:     www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXdRBcoyFSo   

Using Resources

These resources are useful for retreats, reflections on our relationship with creation and our cosmos, in the light of the challenges we face on our planet. 

Other resources are being developed

  1. In the next few months a series of reflections on Blessed Maria Droste will be circulated.  We are encouraged to use these in our communities and units as appropriate, in support of the journey towards canonisation.

  2. Resources from the international retreats held at the Spirituality Centre and Mother house during 2012 and 2013 are also now available on the international website.

  3. The letter from the meeting of the Committee will be sent later in June to your Provinces.  We know that there are a lot of new Provincials and new Leadership Teams.

  4. And this is an important time for us as Province Link Persons to make ourselves known to the new Province Leadership, and share with them what we do!  The Role Description for Province Link Persons is a good resource for this.