[Province of Rio de Janeiro – Brazil] “Building the Company of the Future to Revitalize Life and Mission”; this was the theme that guided the reflection of the XIX Interprovincial Meeting of the Councils of Brazil, which took place at the Provincial House of the Daughters of Charity of the Province of Rio de Janeiro, March 1-10.
The Visitatrixes, Councillors, Provincial Secretaries, Treasurers, Provincial Directors, and Seminary Directresses from the 6 Provinces of Brazil were happy and grateful in welcoming Sr. Evelyne Franc, Superioress General, Sr. Marlene Terezinha Rosa, General Councillor, Fr. Gregory Gay, Superior General, and Fr. Eli Chaves, General Assistant, who helped to evaluate, reflect and deepen the path since the last interprovincial meeting in 2011, considering the preparation of the lines of action that will guide the journey of the Provinces in the next triennium.
Morning prayers and moments of spirituality were prepared by the Provinces, thus giving a special color to these prayerful times, according to the culture of each region of Brazil. Besides the evaluation of the lines of action from the last meeting presented by each Province, the following conferences were delivered: Building the Company of the Future to Revitalize Life and Mission (Sr. Evelyne Franc); Reconfiguration of the Provinces of Brazil in view of a Systemic Change (Fr. Eli Chaves); New Technologies in Formation (Fr. Adalto Luiz Chitolina); Characteristics of Elderly People (Dr. Mariangela Perez, a doctor); Healthy Aging in Consecrated Life (Sr. Ana Alves da Rocha, DC); Building the Company of the Future Considering the Current Challenges of Formation (Fr. Patrick Griffin, conference read by the Provincial Directors); Analysis of the Brazilian Reality (Francisco Orofino). After each conference, work groups, with members of all Provinces, helped to deepen the reflection and allowed the exchange of experiences.
The participants of the meeting had a pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, Patroness of Brazil, in the city of Aparecida do Norte, in the state of São Paulo. There, they participated in the Eucharist and had the opportunity to visit the Sanctuary and submit to the Mother of the Lord the intentions of their Provinces, the entire Company and the Poor. A cultural program took place during a visit to St. Vincent de Paul School, in the city of Niterói. The members of the meeting had the opportunity to cross the long bridge, President Costa e Silva, popularly known as Rio-Niterói bridge, and after being welcomed by the Community, to attend a presentation of Brazilian music and dance.
The final document, which will soon be delivered to all the Sisters, returns to the importance of listening and living the Word of God and Church and Founders Documents; continuing the process of the review of works favoring greater contact with the Poor and Interprovincial Missions; the collaboration with the Vincentian Family; the emphasis on formation, especially the formation of the Sister Servant, and the need for an Interprovincial committee to study the plan of initial formation in view of the reconfiguration of the Provinces.