Dear Sister, Partners in Mission and Friends of the Holy Spirit Region,
Greetings. In August all the sisters and many partners from England, Eswatini, Ethiopia and Uganda came together to enter into prayerful discussion and decision making regarding our vision for today and tomorrow for the Holy Spirit Region as well as the Institute of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was an historical moment for us … our first Holy Spirit Regional Chapter in preparation for the General Chapter of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart which will take place in May of 2020.
All of us, sisters and partners, had prepared for many months with the guidance and hard work of our facilitators Nicole Rose and Arturo Chavez supported by the rest of the Regional Assembly Planning team: Maureen Bennett, M.S.C., Berhane Ashebo, M.S.C., and Meseret Nagamo, M.S.C. We came to the meeting each ready to offer his / her thoughts and feelings about the future of our shared Mission of bringing the love of the Heart of Jesus among the vulnerable, women, children, the elderly, immigrants and refugees. We shared passionately yet peacefully what kind of sister formation, lay formation, vocation work, government and governance we need as a Region and as an Institute so that our Mission can be alive and effective for today’s world.
Our Sharing Together
We began our 5 days with the good fortune to have address us both Cardinal Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel, C.M. the head of the Ethiopian Catholic Church as well as the head of the Peace and Reconciliation Commission for Ethiopia, and Sr. Barbara Staley, MSC, our General Superior. They both motivated us to move with passion and freedom to bring unity and peace among us, to remain interconnected and to keep sharing all of our resources, human and material, wherever we are called, whatever our ministry across countries in the Region and across Provinces in the Institute.
The sharing among us brought forth many necessary and also creative ideas for our future. Perhaps more importantly our sharing of ideas brought clearly into focus how deeply we share and desire to share the Mission as true partners and co-workers for the bringing God’s special love to the most vulnerable. The very distinct differences among us as people from different cultures, religious backgrounds, languages, realities became points of rejoicing, points of fascination as we saw the Holy Spirit Region become a Region and not just a conglomeration of different countries and cultures. Together with hard work and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit we can become and are becoming co-equal partners (laity, sisters, countries) in bringing the love of Jesus Christ to the most vulnerable in our societies.
The recommendations to the whole Institute in those same areas will be brought to the General Chapter in May of 2020 in Rome. The recommendations are attached to this email. The theological reflection from our time together appears at the end of this update.
Those sisters chosen to work for the good of the Institute at the General Chapter are: Maureen Bennett, M.S.C., Hanna Dima, M.S.C., with alternates Patricia Godoy, M.S.C. and Gloria Caixeta, M.S.C. Our co-workers in Mission also recommended a good number from their ranks to participate in the General Chapter. The final decisions have not yet been made regarding which of them will participate. We certainly wish it could be all.
With gratitude to each of you for your hard work and commitment, may the loving Heart of Jesus bless you and your families for the good you are doing.
Diane DalleMolle, M.S.C