[Province of Philipines] Young Sisters’ International Spiritual and Vincentian Revitalization Session. Motherhouse, Paris, September 1- 30, 2014. I would like to give emphasis to the letters of the word “G-I-F-T”, since my 33 days at the Motherhouse for the Vincentian Session seemed to be gift-wrapped by the 33 years of Jesus’ earthly life, His “being called and sent” to redeem us.
“You belong to a new generation… I am sure that all of you thirst for authenticity… for joyful living of the vocation and mission to which you have been called.” These were the words of Sr. Evelyne Franc, Superioress General, to seventy-nine (79) Sisters of 7 to 10 years of vocation from fifty-one (51) Provinces. For us, birth age, vocation age, cultures and languages are riches for deeper appreciation of the internationality of the Company that enable a greater collaboration in the service of the poor.
Four words summarize what was received during the session: rootedness, commitment, lifestyle and legacy. The first week captured the “Rootedness from our Beginning” through the topics dealing with “Origins of the Company”, “Generations and Cultures” and the Vincentian and Marian Pilgrimages. The second week gave importance to “Commitment” with talks on “Vows”, “Called and Sent” and the Vincentian Tour at the Berceau. The third week focused on our “Way of Life” with inputs on “Living the Fullness of Your Vocation”, “Liturgical and Sacramental Life”. The last week concerned our “Legacy” for the next generation, visiting the Archives of the DC and CM, the Graves of the Deceased from the Vincentian Family and the Vincentian tour around Paris.
“We belong to Him not to ourselves…” The talk of Fr. Frédéric Pellefigue, CM on St. Vincent de Paul brought me to God and the Poor. We live in community and strive to be faithful to our vows because God has assembled us for the poor whom we are to serve.
Just like many other Sisters perhaps, I was quite cautious during my first week at the Motherhouse. However, when I knelt and prayed for the intentions of the Philippine Province at the chair where our Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St. Catherine Labouré, I heard a voice say, “My child, be prudent; seek for what is good for internationality and for more collaboration for the service of the poor”. The second transformation was the change of mindset. I grew in my realization that my life is not about task or responsibility but more of presence and gift experienced in prayer, the community and the apostolate.
The abundance of gifts I experienced from this Vincentian Session is now a challenge: how am I to share and live G-eneration, I-nformation, F-ormation and T-ransformation as GIFT to all my Sisters in the Province.
Sr. Ma. Sharon Q. Nievales