[Provinces of Spain] The invitation to the group of Sisters 23 – 25 years of vocation was clear and explicit: to reflect together about the existential experience in the Company from the beginning of living our vocation, with the realism and the utopia proposed by Jesus and realized by Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac in France in the XVII century.
The place chosen for the encounter, the Berceau, could not be more significant. In spite of the passage of time, there we continue to find the prints of the son of a rural family, Vincent de Paul. He had a new and original way of contemplating Jesus, discovering and serving him in persons who are poor. We started the meeting at Pouy around his Baptismal Font with the renovation of our Baptism promises and the celebration of the Eucharist. With a light in our hands, taken in procession to the altar, we were brought to what constitutes the essence of our being: “The Daughters of Charity, in fidelity to their baptism and in answer to a call of God… ” (Const. 7).
In the Berceau Sister Rosa María Miró accompanied us to make our way with Realism and Utopia with a memory exercise admiring the marvels of God in our life. It was a reread, in the light of the Word of God, of the Teaching of the Church to be centred in the essential. Finally, to get ready to confront new challenges with a faithful hope, with simple and humble love, and to possess the necessary strategies to undertake the next stages on the road with a renewed desire and passion.
Among many other things, we enjoyed the gift of Palm Sunday Eucharist celebrated in the Berceau Church. With the faithful and the community of Daughters of the Charity who reside there, we acclaimed Jesus in His triumphant entrance in Jerusalem.
And… the encounter passed quickly in cheerful fraternity. Almost without realizing it, it was Tuesday May 11 and time to go on pilgrimage to Lourdes, one of the Marian places par excellence. Although the morning was cloudy and miserable, it didn’t prevent us from enjoying the visit to the grotto of Our Lady, the Eucharist at Saint Joseph’s chapel and the Way of the Cross on a Holy Week day with the pilgrims. Back in the Berceau we expressed thanksgiving at evening prayer.
In the last phase of the Encounter Sister Rosa María Miró proposed that we elaborate a roadmap, first at personal level and later to share it in work groups. The exchange was rich in dreams, desires and wishes of building the present in identity and key belonging. It was a bridge to live the future with realism and utopia, from the intergenerational responsibility characteristic of the present moment of each Sister of the group. And, almost without feeling and wanting it, we arrived at the end of the Encounter. There were moments and amusing situations that allowed us to perceive how each one contributed the best of herself in a climate marked by freedom and trust.
We cannot finish without thanking Sister Rosa María Miró for her dedication, not only in the preparation of the content and dynamics of the Encounter, but also in the flexibility to adapt to the needs and suggestions of the group. And, even more, her attention and personal listening to the Sisters who requested her service.
Our thanks also to the Company that, through the Visitatrices and formation Councillors have provided this opportunity to stop, take the time to enjoy these days and be able to share prayer, celebrations, time and friendship on so long a vocational journey – 23, 24 and 25 years of belonging to the Company.
So, the word that summarizes the Encounter is THANK YOU!!!