September 15 was the opening of the Renewal Course, but there had already been many days in motion, many people in action, and a lot of sisters in prayer. This day was preceded by many hours of flying, careful preparation of the house and things, a magnificent welcome, as well as times of adaptation to the new time zone. Before this beginning, a beautiful cord of fraternity, communion, mutual help, and generosity was woven. We begin with a grateful and well-disposed heart for what we see ahead, but also for all those who have made it possible for everything to be ready.
“The Group of 20 of us who have the joy of participating in this Renewal Course are from 4 continents, 9 countries, and the 5 Provinces and the Delegation of Mozambique of the Congregation, with a great diversity of ages, professions, and experiences. There are 20 of us, but with us come many people, many stories, many places.
Finally! When the clock struck 10:00 a.m. we gathered for our first meeting. It was time for the formal welcome and opening remarks by Sônia Regina Rosa, General Councilor. From what she said, it is worth noting that the Renewal Course is
“A time of grace, of renewal and actualization of our life in mission, so that we can continue to give it to God and to others.”
She invited us to think about what the Spirit is calling us to renew in us. We all share with calm naturalness. Vocation, trust, universality, belongingness, love… are just some of the calls that resonated. Sônia’s words echoed some numbers of the Constitutions, such as 136 and 137, which are keys at times like these. She encouraged us to renew our following of Jesus, as well as to be women of hope and compassion to pass on to the world. Of course, we could not fail to mention the fact that we are having this time of congregational formation while the Synod of Synodality is being held here in Rome. This cannot be just a story, but a sign of what must also permeate our very international and diverse group. In conclusion, Sônia encouraged us “to take advantage of this time of grace with gratitude and generosity”.
The second moment and center of our opening day was the Eucharist. We have been encouraged by the Superior General, Graciela Francovig to internally enjoy the experience and to place Mary, today, as our helper. Pascual Cebollada, SJ, who presided at the Eucharist, followed the thread of Graciela’s words, inviting us to fervor, to enthusiasm like that of Fr. Nadal, which is kindled to touch many others, those who are waiting for us, so many men and women in need. The list of the names of the group, presented on the altar together with the bread and wine, renews and makes the offering of each one. From communion at the Eucharist, we move on to communion at lunch. Communion of hearts opens us to the new Pentecost, where we can understand each other, even if each one speaks in her own language.
The afternoon allowed us to integrate the group a little more, with several dynamics of listening and welcoming, of what each one is and brings with her. We feel this afternoon as diversity, plurality, presence, richness, listening.
Gratitude opened and closed our day, for being here, for what awaits us, for the group, for the opportunity, because Jesus is ahead of us. We ended the day feeling that today, He is waiting for us in Betania, as we received the guideline for tomorrow’s personal prayer with the invitation to be Betania, “House of encounter, Community of love”.
Renewal Course Group