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Graced Aging… Keeping the Energy Alive

Gwendolyn O’Neil, CND

Twenty-two (22) Congregation of Notre Dame Sisters gathered at the mother house for the weekend of September 23-25, 2016. This gathering was an opportunity to pray, reflect on input and share in small and large groups on the topic of graced aging. Using her well-honed skills and broad experience, Sister Nancy Sylvester, IHM, gently led us through an unfolding and rewarding process.

Friday evening began with the sharing of symbols. Each sister had been asked to bring a symbol that describes how they want to live into their graced aging years.

There were many opportunities for reflection and sharing as Sister Nancy introduced us to “The Five Why Process” and the Powers of the Universe … Energy for Aging. “The Five Why Process” helped us to identify what we feel when we reflect on getting older. We were asked to consider what the four (4) Powers of the Universe – Cataclysm, Transmutation, Transformation and Radiance tell us about how we understand and approach aging and what do they offer to us to approach aging in new ways?

The weekend ended with the following question:

How do you feel you are going to live the rest of your life as you age?

I think the following statements help to describe what this weekend has meant to us:

  • It was a wonderful opportunity to share our journey into this time in our lives, with all its physical and spiritual challenges.
  • It was great to have time together to dialogue about our lives and the Big Questions, and to hear the stories of how God has journeyed with us.


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