Graciela Francovig, Superior General of the Daughters of Jesus, was present last Saturday at the Virtual Meeting of Mother Candida’s Family. She provided a reflection on the motto of the celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Founding of the Congregation, “A living charism, a shared path”. With closeness, detail, and success, she commented on the two parts of the motto and connecting it with the charismatic experience of M. Candida. Before the altarpiece of the Rosarillo and then traveling through the history of the Church and the Congregation, she invited us to seek the new face of the charism, of which the Determination of the GCXVIII speaks to us. Called to a joint search for laypeople and Daughters of Jesus, from our particular vocations, as a charismatic family.
We offer you a summary of her talk but you can also download the full document or listen to it again on our YouTube channel.
“A Living Charism, A Shared Path”
May 8, 2021
In this pandemic situation that we are experiencing, we want to offer each other a living space together to bring distances closer, put a face on us and strengthen us for life.
The day chosen to celebrate this day is especially significant for all of us: the month of May, Saturday, the 8th … It is the day of the Virgin Mary, our Mother. And also, today is the feast of Our Lady of Luján, patron saint of Argentina.
We live a moment of grace and the possibility of deepening our identity, of thanking who we are, what we have lived so far, to keep making way. We are called to offer a new face of charism and we must look for what that new face is.
Juana Josefa received inspiration before the altar of Rosarillo in 1869, it is a gift that is becoming a reality. That inspiration, that dream, that yes, is maturing; first in it, then in those who join it. Today the people who join are laymen and women, another way of life in the Church. The Spirit is always at work.
The Church confirms to us that the path that M. Candida begins is a path that leads to holiness. And holiness is a call and a gift to every baptized person, it is the goal of a living charism, a shared path.
1. A LIVING CHARISM (before El Rosarillo)
A “Charism” is the “gratuitous gift that the Holy Spirit offers to persons to promote development and renewal to the Church“. (Cfr. LG 12).
a. At the altar of the Rosarillo, we encounter Filiationa and Christocentrism.
In El Rosarillo, we received our name, which marks us with two essential characteristic traits:
– to be Daughters, the Filiation
– of Jesus, the Christocentrism.
The experience of faith of Mother Candida is lived and expressed as Filiation. To be a daughter is a way to be in the world and relate with Him and with others, is to recognize the dignity of children. Familiarity with God and simplicity in relationships with others are our characteristic traits.
The whole altar of the Rosarillo speaks of family. In El Rosarillo we can meet as a family and discover that we are children and Jesus, is the center.
b. The call made to us by the CG XVIII before the Rosarillo.
“The charism of M. Candida is a gift of the Spirit to the Church, lived from the two vocations. We want to remain open and in search of the horizon and the steps that the Spirit encourages us to take as a charismatic family”(To go and proclaim, 8).
The laity go from being collaborators of the Daughters of Jesus to discover together that we are all collaborators of Christ’s mission. Together, Daughters of Jesus and laity, we form the M. Candida family, because she marks the starting point.
Isn’t living as a family the new face we are called to offer?
Some notes of the ecclesial context from which we heard this fifth call of the GCXVIII:
– Today is marked because we are the Church 56 years after the Second Vatican Council. We are “God’s people” and we want to be, as Pope Francis says, God’s people on the way out.
– 25 years after the Vita Consecrata document, which states that today some Institutes for various reasons have come to be convinced that their charism can be shared with the laity; the common mission and drink of one’s spirituality is invited. (VC54)
– The words of Pope Francis when he proclaimed 2014, the Year of Consecrated Life, recalling that around religious institutes there are “charismatic families”, formed by several institutes and also lay Christians who feel that call, to participate in the same charismatic spirit.
They are called repeatedly from the Church, which undoubtedly gathers what the Spirit sows in life.
Times of Synodality: walking together listening to the Holy Spirit of God with relationships of closeness and cordiality.
Women: The world needs in all times and today also, the active presence and contribution of women.
Called all in Laudato Si to live and relate differently to the common home. And in Fratelli Tutti to live the consequence of being “children”, the universal fraternity, to become sisters and brothers every day. Let us not forget to underline this note of universality: nothing and no one is excluded from that fraternity.
2. A SHARED WAY (spirituality and mission)
The charism is alive because we discover how God’s goodness also acts through us. We are mediations of his care and mercy, like so many people of goodwill.
And that the charism staying alive happens because we continue to make a shared path and make way for the FUTURE. In the key of “magis”, the vitality of the charism asks for “more”, asks to share more spirituality and more mission. It invites us and urges us to make ourselves available to God’s desire, from discernment; and from this, available to the mission, to serve where it is most needed.
a. Askes to share the Spirituality
It is about living, as a charismatic family and “as a family”, personal discernment and discernment in common, of making us truly available to the movements of the Spirit, wherever He wants to take us.
– A work that is for you laypeople, it is your life, it is your faith, it is your apostolic projection. As adults in the faith, it’s long been “your time.” The lay way of living the charism is yours.
– But the work is for us, Daughters of Jesus, open to the freshness of a new mediation, to the mediation of our lay brothers and sisters, who discover their own path and ask us to walk together, from what we are as consecrated women. And so both vocations help each other live our gift.
- The vitality of the charism asks to share the mission
Our charismatic notes will be found and we will grow them in the mission itself. And the mission is the whole life.
The 150th anniversary is the appropriate ground for the search for God’s will and to be signs of life in the circumstances of this time. We know that there are no recipes, but paths that we have to shape from discernment to make concrete choices.
I would be very pleased to receive your proposals, personal and/or community, that will help us continue to grow as a Family.
Thanks a lot.
Graciela Francovig FI
We finish this summary with the words of Graciela at the beginning of the meeting applied to the day today:
“May Mary accompany us, guide our steps and put us with her Son, to become, as Mother Candida Family, what we are called to be today in the Church and the world”.