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CND Celebration of Internationality, November 16, 2017

Visitation Province

“How then shall we live today?”

(CND Orientation 2016-2021)

Leader: We are gathered in the Spirit deep within us and all around us. 

Opening Prayer: (All) Loving Creating Spirit, we thank you for your abundant blessings as we, sisters and associates, gather  in Cameroon, Canada, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, United States to celebrate our international identity.   

*Silent Contemplation [5 minutes] (Singing bowl to begin and end time of contemplation)

One Voice

…..Perhaps it is a time to become more deeply rooted in who we really are, to become so entrenched in the love of God which allows us to do love’s work and energizes us to go out of ourselves to where the needs are, to the peripheries…

…..We are blessed at this time in our history to have calls from our Chapter that have the potential of helping us to loosen up the soil around our roots and to allow our roots to go even deeper. These calls have what it takes to reenergize us as we move forward in our journey…..

…..The wonderful spirit of joy, love and contemplation that was present during the Chapter is still resonating throughout the Congregation…..  (Circular no. 1, December, 2016) 

*Silent Contemplation [5 minutes] (Singing bowl to begin and end time of contemplation)

Spirit Calls:  "Prayerful Pause" after each call 

Rooted in Jesus Christ, in love and compassion, we, CND sisters and associates, through contemplative dialogue, dare to:  Live interculturality. Face our fears and vulnerabilities. Be open to and celebrate the diversity of generations, cultures, attitudes and structures. (CND Orientation 2016-2021) 

Go to the peripheries. In a spirit of mutuality and collaboration, respond in hope to the cries of our wounded world.  (Ibid) 

Honour and respect our “common home.” Take concrete action, resist the forces of destruction and promote life in all its forms. (Ibid)  

Because the future we face is one that we must embrace together, I believe that the power of engaging in contemplative practice communally can transform the dynamic of our relationships and unleash the power of LOVE. (“The Call to Live Love in the 21st Century,” Nancy Sylvester, IHM, LCWR Occasional Papers – Winter 2017)

The mission of religious life necessarily implies community life. I insist on this because I often hear discussions: What is first in religious life? ... Is it community life? Is it the contemplative dimension? ... or is it the mission? ... But I believe that mission without the contemplative dimension and without the community has no meaning for the religious life because the mission of the religious life is to create communities of the Kingdom: to open and offer spaces for communities of the Kingdom, for the Eucharistic togetherness of the Kingdom. (Simon Pierre Arnold OSB, General Chapter 2016) 

The foundation of the mission, once again, is mysticism and that is why we cannot separate community, mystical experience and mission. It's all one ... it's all one ... It's inseparable. Thus the question: "To what can we bear witness?" That is the fundamental question.  Otherwise, we can do extraordinary things, new things, be very efficient: be good educators, good healthcare workers, excellent theologians, but if we do not have this “shock,” if we cannot give an account of, bear witness to the founding “shock” (impact) of the person of Jesus, our mission has no future. (Ibid) 

The Great Work now is to carry out the transition from a period of human devastation of the Earth to a period when humans would be present to the planet in a mutually beneficial manner. (The Great Work, Thomas Berry) 

It is true that all I have ever desired most deeply and what I still most ardently wish is that the great precept of the love of God above all things and of the neighbor as oneself be written in every heart. O, if I could only engrave it in my own heart and in each of my sisters, I would have reached the fulfillment of my desires. (Marguerite Bourgeoys, WMB) 

All:  How then shall we live today?

*Singing bowl

Leader invites those gathered to offer ONE word or ONE phrase that touches her or him.  (This is not time for a discussion) 

*Singing bowl

Closing Prayer: We hold in our hearts all the needs of our world, as we pray our Magnificat.  

MAGNIFICAT (Rose Mary Sullivan, CND and Mary Ann Rossi, CND, Blessed Sacrament Province_

All:  My whole being magnifies the greatness of our God

One Voice: Whose faithful compassion and love give me life.

All:  What return can I make for all God’s goodness to me? 

One Voice: In God’s name, I will stand with the poor and echo their cries.

Listen, my sisters and brothers, to my song of hope for the coming of God’s reign.

All:  When that day comes,

One Voice: Our world will be a place where diversity is valued and arbitrary divisions    abolished.

All:  When that day comes,

One Voice:  Human beings will live free of all forms of violence and no one will be the    victim of hatred or anger.

All:  When that day comes, 

One Voice: People of good will shall unite to challenge unjust social structures and no    one will suffer from domination by another.

All:  When that day comes,

One Voice: International monetary institutions and policies will favour the wellbeing of    the many rather than the privileges of the few, and the poor will have a favoured place   at the banquet table.

All:  When that day comes, 

One Voice: All will reverence creation as a living gift to be treasured rather than a commodity to be   exploited. Those who have gone before us have testified to the mercy of God. We have   experienced that mercy in our own lives.

All:  If the vision comes slowly, we will wait; for it WILL come.

One Voice: Knowing that God is faithful, we choose to live as heralds of hope for our own time and   for generations to come. Amen. 

All:  Let us now exchange a sign of peace.

All:  Loving Holy One, we thank you for the grace of celebrating our international identity. May we be blessed by an ever more profound rootedness in Jesus Christ. We ask this in union with Mary and Marguerite.  Amen.  

Rooted in Jesus Christ let us cultivate love and compassion.



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