“Renewal of Life and Mission as We Look to the Future”

Posted July 15, 2022

Fifteen RSHM who made their final profession since 2010 participated in a yearlong formation programme entitled “Renewal of Life and Mission as We Look to the Future”.  The programme began in June 2021 with monthly Zoom meetings on topics which the participants selected and prepared.  From June 15-30, they gathered at the Generalate for a two-week experience with workshops on leadership, interculturality, communication, human and financial resources, collaboration, RSHM structures, JPIC/NGO, formation, and other topics. Two pilgrimages were among the highlights – one in the city of Rome, following in the footsteps of Fr. Gailhac, and a day trip to Assisi. The group was warmly welcomed to Marymount International School and Istituto Marymount. Sr. Patricia Murray, ibvm, was the first speaker and gave a very thought-provoking presentation on interculturality and leadership in a synodal Church. Sr. Patricia Connor who came to Rome and stayed for the entire experience gave excellent presentations on RSHM Leadership and changes in RSHM Structures over the years. Many others came to help and offer their expertise – Maria Teresa Nogueira, John Bosco Goria, Clare Horn, Ana Possas, Mary Jo McElroy, Veronica Brand, Isabel Grangeon and several others.

June 25th, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Mary was celebrated with a beautiful Eucharist, and then all joined in planting a Mimosa tree in the garden. The tree was chosen for its significance as a symbol of women’s strength and sensitivity – it is the official symbol of International Women’s Day.

In the words of Sr. Margaret Fielding, “The planting of this tree here on the land of our Generalate is a symbolic action. We give thanks to God for the gift and beauty of creation and we give thanks for the gifts of women throughout the world. We give thanks for the mission of Jesus Christ that has been entrusted to us and for the charism that has been transmitted to us by our founder, Venerable Jean Gailhac. We commit ourselves anew to the future as religious, as RSHM”.

These were really intense but happy days, full of sharing, prayer, and friendship. Not even the heat of Rome or the setbacks of some sisters (Covid) prevented the meeting from being such a wonderful life-giving experience for all. Now, each one returns to her Area with renewed hope for the future.