First International Meeting of Formees - Aspirants - Postulants - Novices - Online
"Everything begins with a call from God to become new wine in new wineskins..." (XIII Handbook for the renewal of Confhic, pg. 7). At this time in our history when we are living the jubilee year of the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Congregation and at an unprecedented time, caused by the Covid 19 pandemic, the Spirit of the Lord who renews all things impels us to " break open paths and live communion, in the hospitality and smallness that generate life, becoming fruitful women, spiritual "mothers". In this way the dream of coming together, at the congregational level, the 62 young formees in the stages of aspirancy, postulancy and novitiate was born.
With the theme "Walking in Faith with Libania", the Commission for Formation and Youth Vocational Pastoral of CONFHIC organized the first online encounter for initial formation at the Congregational level on September 2, 2020, the date on which we celebrated the 177th anniversary of the Baptism of our beloved Foundress, Blessed Maria Clara of the Child Jesus. This event was preceded by a 1st international online meeting of formators of the respective stages, on 25 August 2020, with the objective of preparing for this encounter with our formees.
The satisfaction and involvement of all the formators was evident and they welcomed the initiative with great hope and gratitude. This meeting was a beautiful and new experience of real closeness in a virtual space, of mutual knowledge, of sharing, of fraternal and intercultural communion which offered the possibility of an equally rich experience for our young formees.
The long-awaited meeting with the formees took place at 12 noon, on the 2nd of September. It commenced with the reading of the message of our dear Sister Shirley Ninfa Fernandes, Superior General. This was followed by the introduction of the members of the Formation Commission and, of the formators with their respective formees, by Province. This was a beautiful experience! What was very moving was the fact that each formee introduced herself saying the date of her Baptism, the day when she received the gift of faith.
The prayerful moment of the encounter led us to relive and reflect on our Baptism. There was a baptismal catechesis, rich in symbolism, which made the celebration joyful and fruitful. Here are some resonances of our beloved formees:
• The experience of participating in the online celebration was one of great joy, good, moving, unique, of happiness... to see formees from other communities and to know that we have many vocations; to see so many joyful young people following in the footsteps of Jesus, living in simplicity, according to our Founders; to know the place where our Holy Founders rest. It was an experience of communion, of fraternal encounter. Despite the geographical space that separates us, we felt our hearts beating in one direction, towards our beloved Mother Clara; it was an experience of journeying (we were "directed" to the Mother House), of walking in faith with our Foundress.
• The welcome of the Sisters (of various nationalities) of the Mother House was overwhelming! They made us feel as if we were there and made us see that this space holds the origin of our history, where everything began, where we can see our roots very closely; the crypt spoke to us of the living presence of our Founders, who are close by, who continue to enlighten our lives and warm our hearts;
• God, through this event, is telling us today to take the journey and the life we have chosen seriously, just as our Founders and the Sisters who walk ahead of us have done; He tells us not to be afraid, because we are also capable of surrendering our lives; that it is worthwhile to trust and believe in Him, because blessed is the one who believes in the fulfilment of His word; He tells us to be persevering; to go further along the way, through prayer, participation in the Eucharist, Confession, Fraternal Correction, dialogue and sincere communication; to be His followers and messengers of His Word; to commit ourselves to live for Him; to accept the challenge of living hospitality, giving our lives to Him as many have also done. It is true that this meeting was only possible because there are Sisters who have given their lives to God and to the Congregation.
This 1st online congregational encounter of initial formation has been a blessing and a challenge to intensify the spirit of family and communion. The Charism is alive. God has blessed us with the gift of these vocations and entrusted to us a great mission: to care for them. He asks us to take on the delicate task and great and great responsibility of providing these young women, full of generosity, with welcoming and appropriate environments for a happy and fruitful discernment.
Along with Mother Clara, with a heart full of gratitude and joy, we too proclaim:
"How good God is! Blessed be God!"
WELCOMING VÍDEO TO THE MOTHER HOUSE
PHOTOS OF THE MEETING