The transition session took place in Rome from September 6 to 29, 2023. Three sisters participated (two were unable to obtain their visa). They share some experiences.
From Sr. Kordula Weber, community of Karlsruhe, Germany
I would like to emphasize the place given in the program activities, to relaxation and friendship. The superior of the community organized an outing for us to the beach. He accompanied us “in the footsteps of Cardinal Lavigerie” to the Church of St Agnès hors les Murs, where he received the hat and his charge as cardinal. Visit of the Generalate of our Congregation. Sisters Leticia Garduño of the General Council, Gloria Sedes, and Magdalena Orczykowska of the juniorate. An outing to Castel Gandolfo allowed us to admire the palace inside and the immense park. The visit to Assisi in the footsteps of St Francis was for us an opportunity to strengthen the conviction of working towards an integral ecology lived in joy and authenticity. But it reminded us that we are advanced in age and can no longer go up and down all the stairs to explore this small town built on the slopes of Mount Subasi.
The visit to PISAI followed by the invitation to the small restaurant with the White Fathers, teachers of the institute was very friendly.
We were also able to experience this friendship during meals with the community of Fathers and their guests, during the “Serata Romana”
(recreational evenings for all the inhabitants of the Via Aurelia house) and during the time of meeting with our sisters and the juniors at “Trenta Aprile”.
Sr. Marie Christine Rousseau, Rome Community, Italie
A good break and renewal-time was offered to our small group (3 MSOLA and 4 M. Afr) for three weeks. What can we say about this “privileged” time? Our two animators, Sr. Hélène Mbuyamba and Fr. Terry Madden had been invited to completely rethink this session. It was therefore a great first experience for all of us. We benefited from: two days of pilgrimage to Assisi; a varied program allowing us to reread the stages of our psychospiritual development; the various writings of Pope Francis (Evangelii Gaudium, Laudato Si, Fratelli Tutti, the economy of Francis and the current synodal approach); and sharing about prayer at this stage of our lives.
The session was for everyone a time to slow down, “to walk at our own pace”, to take a peaceful look at how to approach the challenges of the
phase we are living now. We would have liked more time to share about our experiences of life and faith. I really appreciated having time once again to reread the different stages of my missionary life, to review the paths of growth that the Lord offered me through experiences that were sometimes disrupted or chaotic. The visits to PISAI and then to the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue were very rich and for me a new opportunity to give thanks to the Lord for the twenty years that the Lord has given me to live in service and among my Muslim brothers and sisters. The numerous outings and visits in Rome and outside, the various meetings with our brothers of the general house and some of their visitors, the good times of relaxation—all this allowed me to take full advantage of this time of “renewal”. May He give me the grace to really take advantage of it!
Sr. Gloria Sedes Alvarez, Deli community, Chad
At the time of the evaluation, I was asked what fruits I am gathering from this transition session. What came to me is this: we have been “sown” like the good soil that we are. But… what will remain of this experience in 1 or 2 years will be the “real fruit.” So be patient, you will have to wait a little. More than 20 years ago I did the “half-time of life” session and I know that everything I had experienced had serious consequences for my During the Season of Creation, the sessionists participated in a prayer service in the garden of the Missionaries of Africa.
life. From being the accomplished good nurse-midwife that I was, at my 50th birthday I dared to take up the challenge to become a therapist
in Arqromertherapy with a different and holistic approach to health. I embarked on an unimaginable adventure: the “Kapokier Rouge” Center.
In this session “at the ¾ point in my life”, I was invited to know myself better, to take better care of myself in order to better serve and take care of others–those whom the Lord continues to entrust to me in the Chadian lands, during the time that the Lord still wishes to grant me.
We learned some breathing exercises to become a therapist of our own life and better manage stress.
We revisited Laudato Si’ and many other aspects of our missionary life. I am grateful to everyone. And I leave without fear, with confidence, hoping to be a prophetic witness as Dave Sullivan says: “to be Good News in everything I do, in what I say and what I think”!
We give thanks to the Lord for this time of rereading and renewal in relaxation!