Category Archives: Spirituality

  Sr. Maria Cimperman is a Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She participated in the first assembly of the synod on Synodality in October 2023 in Rome. Sr Maria offers our readers some particular perspectives from the Synod Assembly 2023 in light of the following questions. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share these reflections with you, particularly as I am aware that Conversation in the Spirit was a methodology used during your 2023 General Chapter. I imagine your General Chapter was your synodal experience.   What made “conversation in the Spirit” (CIS) such a powerful tool during the Synod experience? First, CIS was a great equalizer. In the process, during round one and two each person has the same amount of time (and is kept to it) to speak and to be heard. The time was the same for a cardinal and a student, for women as…

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    This Laudato Si’ Week and Pentecost, let us gather in community to contemplate and nurture seeds of hope for our “suffering planet” (LD 2). Laudate Deum is a reminder about the urgency of the Laudato Si’ message and the need for both personal and cultural transformation amidst our ecological and climate crises. This year’s Laudato Si’ Week theme is inspired by the symbol for Season of Creation 2024, “firstfruits.” Let us be seeds of hope in our lives and our world, rooted in faith and love. “There are no lasting changes without cultural changes … and there are no cultural changes without personal changes” (LD, 70)   Inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, this eight-day guide seeks to motivate tall people of good will to protect our Common Home through concrete actions and simple changes in the way we live. Here is the link to download the…

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   From Sr. Marie Sakina, Lilongwe Community, Malawi   How good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live together in unity. Psalm 133:1   I would paraphrase this passage of psalm 133:1 “How good and pleasant it is when sisters pray together in unity! That is what I would say of our common retreat which we had in Uganda from 15th to 24th October2023. Those who lived this retreat would bear witness with me. At least that is what I felt. Our congregation in its constitutions (No 48 paragraph 3) states the following: To keep our lives centered on Christ in faithfulness to his call, we take time for a daily examen, a monthly day of recollection and an annual retreat.   This shows that making an annual retreat is one of the “perks” of consecrated religious life for us consecrated religious. Moreover, doing the retreat together as…

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  Christmas message from the General Council In contemplating the Incarnation, Saint Ignatius invites us to contemplate the world (Spir. Ex. 101 and ff.). We are asked to see this world as God sees it, knows it and loves it, with all its beauty and its painful and vulnerable reality, “all the nations in great blindness descending towards death and hell”. Today, we are painfully aware of how the earth and all humanity are crying out, especially the poorest victims of war, climate change and the economic system that is creating an ever-widening gap between rich and poor. God does not remain indifferent to human reality, the Trinity contemplates and decides to send the second Person who must become a man to save humanity. In his decision to take flesh in our humanity, we touch the depth of his loving mercy. God comes to us in our misery and our…

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  From our sister Fides Mbabarempore, in the Bobo Dioulasso Community. I would like to share with you an experience that touched me deeply and awakened in me a call to renew my relationship with the Virgin Mary, and what she is for me, for the Church and for us as MSOLA. This sharing is very much in line with AMV, another way of living it in and around us. On the eve of this year’s solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the women’s association of our parish of St Vincent de Paul in Bobo-Dioulasso, in Burkina Faso had organized a rosary prayer. The procession began close to our community carrying the statue of the Virgin Mary towards the grotto in front of our church. As a community, we were all present, women among women and also as Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa. We carried lit…

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  From our sister Valérie Kabore, in Hydra, Algeria Dear Sisters, I am happy to share with you my experience of the Taizé meeting in Tlemcen (western Algeria). On Sunday, 20th August, we set off with a Sister of the Immaculate Conception from Ouagadougou, a Sister of Notre Dame du Lac from Bam, a Missionary of Africa trainee and a young Kenyan student… heading for Dar Essalam, the Focolare Welcome Centre in Tlemcen (a little over 500kms west of Algiers). There we met around sixty young students, most of them religious, and some natives of the country. The atmosphere was festive and serene. This event was initiated 18 years ago to support young students, almost all of whom come from sub-Saharan Africa and receive university scholarships in Algeria. A typical day at the Taizé Community is a busy one. It starts at dawn with the Eucharist (for Catholics), followed by Morning…

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Today, the 2nd February we are celebrating the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, and the same time 27th World day for consecrated life. Therefore, we propose an article written by Benedictine Sister Joan Chattister: It is one thing to watch the world change around us. It is entirely another to deal with the fact that our changing world is changing us, too. We have found ourselves in a world of possibilities. We have also discovered, then, the ways in which choice entraps us. One woman, for example, agonized with the idea that she herself had given a lot of thought over the years to entering a monastery, but why go? “Why commit myself to a religious community with so much uncertainty if, as a layperson, I can develop my spiritual life anywhere? I can develop a spiritual community anywhere. I can practice deep meaningful spirituality in any community…

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  Over the centuries, Breton Spirituality has venerated Breton personalities known for their exemplary life from a Christian point of view. Few of them have been recognized as saints by the Church’s canonization procedure, but they have been honoured by the people, their very existence not always being historically attested. From 2021 another statuette has been added to this demonstration of ancient popular spirituality, that of our Venerable Mother Marie Salomé, who was carried on the pilgrimage by Danielle Burthier and 3 lay people from the Lavigerie family. An article by Danielle will follow on Sharing Trenta Aprile with details of this experience.   According to a late literary and hagiographic construction forged from the eleventh century, the seven founding saints are traditionally reputed to have founded the seven bishoprics that existed in the late Middle Ages. Because of their precedence to any canonical procedure, these saints have not been officially recognized by…

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The Hydra community in Algeria share their experience in the shadow of the Coronavirus, following the themes of our last chapter: “Bearers of hope listening to the voice of the Spirit, moving forward together towards the peripheries”

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To announce Jesus is urgent.”  Such is the cry, the call always being renewed by Sr. Finita Martinez Canovas, a Spanish Missionary Sister of Our Lady of Africa.  In her testimony, she shares her journey of encounters and her inner journey where the difference between cultures and religions forces her to stay awake.  My thanksgiving becomes more concrete and explicit through this reality of the Encounter. Yes, that is what I lived: invigorating energizing encounters, full of light that launched me onto new paths.  The Meeting with Jesus:  It was at the age of 18, it upset my life filling it with meaning, consolation and orienting it to new horizons: first my Christian vocation, then the call to religious-missionary life. What a beautiful experience!  The encounter with other peoples, cultures, religions through the people around me: First it was the great Congo-Zaire. What brave people, open, frank. With this people…

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