Encounter of Provincial Councils of Spain and Portugal 11-14 February 2016

IMG8819 2[Province of Madrid–St. Vincent] Sister Mª Eugenia, Visitatrice of “San Vicente – Madrid Province, opened the Encounter with St Theresa in the city that radiates “La Santa” everywhere. She gave us her staff, her feather, her bell, her sandals, her pots, her cart and her message: “Nothing upsets you, nothing frightens you, who have God nothing is missing. Nothing upsets you, nothing frightens you, Only God is enough.

Sister Kathleen in her words of welcome invited us to enter into the spirit of these days to understand what God is doing for us. “Let us be open to the grace that God will generously give us . Let us transform into what we receive – Christ’s Body.”

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Fr Gregory, in his homily, gave us a hint to discover some “foreign gods” we can be worshiping. In his conference, in line with the “DARE” of the Inter-Assemblies Document, he “Dared”. He sees the Document as a gift to make it alive in the Local Communities. He invited us to be communities in Mission, recognized in different relationships: with God, with the Church, with the Vincentian Family and with our Lords and Masters, the Poor whom we serve. He stressed the need of collaboration with the Vincentian Family and he announced a new Vincentian year:  “I was a stranger…” so that we think of who is or who are strangers.

Sr Manuela, Visitatrice of San Sebastian, presented the reality of the Company in Spain: many Sisters, many services to the poor… the small seed that sprouts, the great experience of many Sisters, many still serving the poor. We heard also of the reality of the Company in Portugal, the option made in line with the Charter and the experience of the creation of one international community, daughters of the parish in a rented house.

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The second day Sister Kathleen presented us, “A missionary impulse inspired by charity. To be a D.C.  Today”.  She reminded us of our DNA, underlining with force those aspects more necessary for being authentic Daughters of Charity today and not losing the audacity of our Holy Founders that was very different in their time. Today we have to translate this passionate love for those who are poor; a strong sense of belonging to the Company and the conviction that we are Daughters of the Church into the reality of our provinces. With her simplicity and understanding she put the finger on the problem. She spoke about maximums and minimums:  being at least very spiritual and hard-working. She encouraged us to be the best we can be. Only God knows our future, and she said “I thank God for that.

Fr Jésus Mari Alemany, S.J,  presented ” The Wounded of the Humanity Today. Challenges for the Company“. He reminded us that, above all, we are followers of Jesus Christ and He drives us to deserts, to peripheries and frontiers. We are being configured as Christians and we have to be audacious. He showed us the seven big wounds of humanity today where we can sum up our Inter Assemblies Document. As a therapy to transform our world the 2030 Agenda for a Sustainable Development was presented to us. And he finished by rousing us to be converted to the utopia of the Gospel and the Cross of reality, where God hugs us and we hug Him.

Fr Bernard developed the first topic of the Inter-Assemblies document, “A way of living energized by the Gospel“. He put as example the style of life of the first Christian communities, the four fidelities that we cannot leave aside. He also called us to be committed in today’s world to announce the Word of God to the poor, to inter-religious dialogue, and to a life simplified by the Gospel choosing to be poor to combat poverty.

Taken from the words of Sister Juana Mª Belzunegui, H.C.
in the Closing Ceremony 

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