Thank you for your closeness and affection. We know that you are accompanying us with your prayers as we celebrate this important congregational event. Your messages and best wishes encourage us and make us feel even more responsible for the work we are doing.
We are sure that many of you are following us online through the information posted on our Interchapter 2016 web site (in www.paoline.org). There you can find news of what we are doing each day and pictures of us at work.
Now we want to give you a summary of the first five days of our Interchapter.
On Monday, 5 September, we participated in a solemn Eucharistic Celebration in the Subcrypt of the Queen of Apostles Sanctuary. Also present for the occasion were many sisters and brothers of the Pauline Family. We entrusted to our Founders all our sisters throughout the world, together with each one’s expectations and hopes for a profound renewal of our life and mission. The logo of our Interchapter–We believe and therefore we communicate the joy of the Gospel and the beauty of our charism–shines before us. It is the goal we want to reach, as Sr. Anna Maria Parenzan underscored in her welcome address.
After her introduction, we began the first stage of the Interchapter, which consisted in getting to know our situation. Our first guest speaker was Fr. Marko I. Rupnik, sj, who offered us a sapiential reading of the historico-ecclesial context in which we live. His talk was a powerful appeal to all religious to courageously adopt a contemplative mentality and a more authentically Christian way of thinking, living and carrying out the apostolate.
The following day, Sr. Anna Maria Parenzan presented us with a comprehensive panorama of the Congregation, sketching out the steps we have taken in various areas of our life from the 10th General Chapter up to today. This helped us see the progress we made and the problems we encountered in important aspects of our life such as integral formation, study, vocation animation, the new evangelization and apostolic collaboration on the continental level. The picture reveals that our Congregation is on the move, its members united and working hard in spite of the inevitable fatigue and limitations involved. Sr. Anna Maria’s report revived in us the cherished sense of being a family, which generates a feeling of solidarity among us in spite of being scattered in so many countries throughout the world.
Sr. Gabriella Santon, Bursar General, then gave us an overview of our economic situation within the context of today’s financial-economic crisis, underscoring that it is essential that we manage our material goods wisely and carefully, in the spirit of Pauline poverty, so as to fulfill and develop our mission, which also includes undertaking new initiatives creatively.
Friday, 9 September, was dedicated to work in small groups, where we shared and compared ideas concerning the input we had received and on which we had reflected. Following this, we sought to pinpoint the priorities that can cast light on our journey for the 2016-2019 triennium.
We are pleased to also inform you that each evening we “took a trip” to various circumscriptions so as to see how the Lord continues to bless our mission and cause new and beautiful apostolic initiatives to bloom.
We are spending today, Saturday, in silence and prayer, illuminated by the meditation of Sr. Elena Bosetti, sjbp, on the theme, The Word: A Place of Unity–Martha, Mary and Mary of Nazareth. This is an important reflection for us, since we were born of the Word and are apostles of the Word. Our one-day retreat ended with a solemn Mass celebrated by Bishop Marco Frisina, enriched by the choir of the Generalate community.
Warmest best wishes to all of you.
Sr. M. Letizia Panzetti and Sr. Zoila Guzman
St. Paul House, Rome, 10 September 2016