“The joy of being a Daughter of Charity”

[Province of Warsaw] In the Motherhouse, from April 29 to May 13, 2019, the International Session of the Spiritual and Vincentian Renewal for the Sisters from 11 to 24 years of vocation took place. It ran under the motto: “The joy of being a Daughter of Charity.” In total 74 Sisters participated. They came from Africa, Central, North and South America, Asia and Europe. The meeting was translated into 8 languages.

During the session, the Sisters were accompanied by the presence of the Superioress General, Sister Kathleen Appler, whose word was a clasp linking the beginning and end of the Session. There was also the Director General – Father Bernard Schoepfer, who celebrated the Eucharist and proclaimed the Word of God each day. There were also the General Councillors and invited speakers.

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The Session program was abundant in the word addressed to the Sisters, mainly during conferences, which were usually preceded by multimedia presentations. The themes that were presented and proposed for exploration were as follows: the Company of the Daughters of Charity today, the joyful experience of faith according to Saint Vincent and Saint Louise, prayer, loyalty, the sense of belonging to the Company, the attitude of a handmaiden (servant), moral conscience, simplicity, youth ministry and the Vincentian style of vocational accompaniment.

It was a great grace and joy for all those gathered at that session during this time and in such a special place. On May 9, the Feast of St. Louise, we took part in two celebrations: first in the Church of St Nicolas des Champs, in which Saint Louise received the light of Pentecost and then in the evening at the Miraculous Chapel together with the community of the Motherhouse.

A moving moment during that evening was the experience of Mission Company today – prayer in such different languages, the presence of the Sisters of so many nationalities, and at the same time, all of us GIVEN TO GOD by serving the poor as Daughters of Charity.

There was also an opportunity to visit the Mother House and Archives, places associated with the life and activity of the Holy Founders, through which they became even more close. One of such places was the Cathedral in Chartres. The Sisters went there in two coaches on the last day of the Session, on May 13, on the day of the anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. There, in the Crypt, the participants took part in Holy Mass during which, together with the General Councillors they renewed the act of entrusting the Company to Our Lady.

Father Director at the end of the homily, quoted the beautiful and hopeful words of Saint Vincent: “When one took Mary as a Patron (…) it cannot happen that something went wrong.”

Joy was not only the motto of the Session, but the experience of each day lived in the community that we created during these two weeks. On the last evening of May 13, during recreation which was prepared by individual language groups and where the Sisters from the Motherhouse participated in it – this joy EXPLODED and we felt, as during our sharing, listening that the Holy Spirit guides us, that HE is the LORD of this time.

Sent again by the Superioress General we want to go with courage, availability, and joy under the care of MARY IMMACULATE, making use of the experience that PROVIDENCE gave us and placing our trust in it.

May God be glorified in the gift of those who contributed to the organization of this session.

Sr. Ewa Tyszkiewicz – Prowince of Warsaw, Poland

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