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Wednesday, November 14, 2018
on 16 March, 2018
United_Kingdom1.png My dear Sisters ...
 

CONGREGAZIONE
SUORE DELLA PROVVIDENZA ROSMINIANE
Via Aurelia, 773
ROMA


Antonio Rosmini: 190° Anniversary at Calvario


My dear Sisters,
Before anything else, on this special occasion, the feast of the Cell, when we thank God for our Blessed Founder, on this Day, I wish you all, abundant blessings.
I thank God for the gift of each one of you, my dear Sisters; thank you for making this journey, with your unique contribution in building up unity within the Congregation.
We look at the journey from XI General Chapter 2013, “Walking towards the future”, to ‘pause’ and ‘see’, where we have come from. Many things have happened during these years along with the changing economic, political and technological world situation: the death of several Sisters; increasing age; illness; new members; new openings and closures in apostolates, communities and houses; communication - updating internet site, Facebook page, News etc.
We are in the 5th year of our journey and our gaze is now towards the XII General Ordinary Chapter, to be celebrated in July 2019. As you know, but it is well to remember the two principal elements that characterize the Convocation:
 The Chapter is the supreme collegial body within the Congregation. (Const. 230)
 it is at the service of the Congregation, challenging its life and its works in order to promote unity and maintain the integrity and vitality of its charism. (Cf. Const. 232).
Therefore, it is obliged to preserve and nourish the common good of all Communities and it must guarantee fidelity to the original spirit of the Congregation, while strengthening its spiritual vitality.
The first step towards the Chapter is its PREPARATION: this calls for a serious personal and community reflection:
- on the real life within our Communities and Districts;
- united with a reflection on the significance of our Rosminian way of life.
At the beginning of this six-year-period, after the XI General Chapter in 2013, we received clear indications for our ‘Walking towards the future’. (Chapter Doc. Taking the Chapter home)
 We pause and look again at some points reported in the Document:
 An underlying focus throughout the whole XI Chapter was Communication in relation to Mission and Evangelization (Pg.9):
- identifying in communication crucial elements in building community, a home where human relationships are cherished and where times of fragility and joy are shared;
- where real dialogue includes respect for diversity and where formation takes place.
- this calls for a great esteem for others whoever they are, because each one bears the image God by her presence.
We said: only in this way, can we become joyful good news for others… This implies a process of re-structuring with a different make-up, re-distributing our presence so as to give it fresh credibility. It is not only closing or setting up new communities; restructuring the service of government; or reorganizing our apostolic mission; it is finding ways and means of giving the community a new breath life.

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In our ‘new-found smallness’ we find ourselves at a ‘signpost’, keen to continue our journey as “gospel women who are sensitive to the signs of the age ..women who live the gospel at the heart of the Church.” (Dir 2).
Our community living and daily mission are intertwined since whatever we do is for the sake of spreading the Good News to bring every human being to Jesus Christ. (cf. Const. 110-111)
 Starting from this ‘one vision’ , Objectives were established
 for Coordinators , for each Community and for each Sister (Doc Pg. 43)
calling therefore for Co-responsibility within the vision of the whole Congregation, to live the spirit of the Chapter by “walking” the path of her personal Plan.
Stepping-stones along the way …
 Coordinators, with the cooperation of Superiors, drew up a Plan for each District with the possibility for each Community to adapt and to evaluate continually, according its own composition and mission, and in line with the local Church.
This was the best way to proceed and collaborate, creating co-responsibility while at the same time taking into consideration the particular needs of each District. These local needs continue to be more diverse; but they are also the wealth of our Congregation!
 From the Meeting of the General Council in July 2014 with the Aim ‘to revitalize our Rosminian Charism and mission in the service of God and his people’, there emerged the following fundamental points as expressed in the Letter of 3 September 2014:
- joyful gratitude: everything has been given to us even before we think about asking for or getting it; this creates in us a disposition of single-minded dependence on God. It allows us to rejoice in offering gratefully to God the time of Contemplation and silence as well as the time of activity, being and doing, successes and frustrations along with the challenges of today;
- personal conversion - because central to anything we try to do is ‘who we are’ and ‘how’ we live - and to enjoy the beauty of our vocation: an encounter with the Person of Christ, in a living relationship;
- a delicate balance between community and mission: ‘who’ and ‘what’ I am in community overflows into my mission.
- interaction of relationships;
- Respect for ALL – persons, creation and things: “we actively respect the dignity of the human person.”(Dir 2) “we shall find new and fresh ways of supporting one another in our mission. (Dir 3)
- “Transparency” and “stewardship” (Dir 4) cultivating an awareness of ‘everything belongs to the community’. When we joined the Congregation, all was provided - everything surprised us: food, lodging and even clothing and personal needs… If we have money and resources, can we use them ‘ad lib’? What we have is not ours personally! All this is linked with the last words of Fr Founder to Mother Giovanna on simplicity of life and poverty.
- on-going formation: “the whole of our life is a time of on-going formation. (Rat, Dir 6) This includes personal deepening of the Word of God and Rosminian spirituality in all-round development - indispensable means for a prophetic Rosminian vocation lived to the full.
- to rediscover her own initial call, consciously ‘writing her own personal Map’ so that together we as community do in fact create our Rosminian way of being and living.

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Fr Founder sums up these concepts to the novices: “My dear daughters, learn to appreciate the sublime vocation by which you are called to be of use to the world; remember what our divine master, Jesus, said to his disciples: «This is my commandment - that you love one another as I have loved you»” (EA Vol 4 Lett 41)
 In our reflection during our ‘journey’, we have used some IMAGES, eg the VINE.
It is an extraordinary image of the profound relationship with Jesus. I suggest we take this message to ourselves: ‘You did not choose me, no, I chose you’ (Jn 15:16) and “Abide in my love”, Jn.15:9). A life that does not respond to this love runs the risk of being lukewarm and cold and can become a withered branch that has cut itself off from the source of life. If we want to identify ourselves with the spirit of Bl Antonio Rosmini, who shows us the Way of the Gospel and to be ready to move from Contemplation to Action – like “generous good wine in well-corked jars” (cf. EC 4:422): Walking towards the Future Pg. 45) it is necessary to go back to the source: the “VINE”. (see Letter 3 September 2014)
 It was in this period that Pope Francis tackled the “question of environment and sustainability” and we too are called to commit ourselves in developing an awareness to ‘care for creation’, to conversion - from being consumers and exploiters to being guardians of creation. Pope Francis affirms: “we learn how to respond to God’s call, readily and willingly, but we also see the core of the Christian vocation, which is Christ! Let us protect Christ in our lives, so that we can protect others, so that we can protect creation!” He continues: “Whenever human beings fail to live up to this responsibility, whenever we fail to care for creation and for our brothers and sisters, the way is opened to destruction and hearts are hardened”. He calls on “all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be “protectors” of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment… to be “protectors”, we also have to keep watch over ourselves! Let us not forget that hatred, envy and pride defile our lives! (see Letter 29 September 2014)
 From the Meeting of the General Council in July 2017 there emerged a true consensus regarding overall priorities: our mission is only effective if we have put down solid roots and there is agreement and unity of purpose between us.
These recommendations were approved by all:
- To underline the absolute and urgent priority of the primacy of mystical and contemplative life, understood as an intimate relationship with the Lord. The real and existential encounter with Christ also has a significant impact on community living and mission. Without this soul, everything vanishes irretrievably. (Compare WTF pages 20, 29, 35, 45, chapter 3 and 5).
- Reaffirm the mutual relationship between prayer and community.
- Proceed with the economic reform both from the instrumental and operative point of view, as already undertaken (Dir 4) and to employ professional, serious and trusted lay people, under the guidance and supervision of the Congregation.
The various aspects of life discussed are depicted and presented in an image (see Letter September 2017):
- Remember our/my roots
- Prayer: Gratitude-Contemplation-Mysticism
- identity: personal relationship with Jesus
- Sharing: see how they love one another
- Open mind and heart: social conscience and eco conscious
- Responsible stewardship and greater accountability.
- Accept and respect others

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 We also focused on the Image of the TWO POTS.
Every one of us is unique and we have our own flaws. And it is our little quirks and faults that make us and the world so interesting. We are all full of wounds and cracks, but if we want, we can do wonders with our imperfections! We’re all cracked pots. In this world, nothing goes to waste. You may think like the cracked pot that you are inefficient or useless in certain areas of your life, but somehow these flaws can turn out to be a blessing in disguise. We all have our own unique flaws but it is these flaws that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. We simply ought to take each person for who and what they are, and look for the good in them. (see Letter September 2017)
Encouragement along the way in these years
The Church has also given us many indications in these years for our journey, in addition to what the Congregation has suggested:
Year of Faith 2013
Year of Vocation 2014
Year of Consecrated Life 2014-2016
Extraordinary Year of Mercy 2015
Year of Gratitude 2017
Year of Trust 2018
Ecclesial Texts for reference:
From the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life – CIVCSVA:
Rejoice (2014) Scrutate Keep Watch (2014) Contemplate (2015) Annunciate (2017)
Guidelines for the management of Goods in Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (August 2014) New Wine in new wineskins (2017)
Pope Francis Lumen Fidei (June 2013
Wake up the World (Nov 2013)
Evangelii gaudium (Nov 2013)
Misericordiae Vultus (April 2015)
Laudato si' (May 2015)
Amoris Laetitia (March 2016)
There was also the Canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II on 27 April 2014 the Beatification of Paul VI on 19 October 2014, together with the recognition of other new Saints and Beatified who have witnessed to their faith in the different local Churches; Blessed Antonio Rosmini has been cited at least four times by Pope Francis.
Orientations
We are aware that our world is constantly evolving, so too is our Congregation, where life is very different in the various Districts. Although the Congregation is relatively small, there are great differences not only between the Districts but also within the Districts themselves.
In my visits to the Districts and communities, I have noticed this difference in the daily life of the Sisters:
- their insertion in parish life, (where much can depend on the parish priest and set up of the parish) where the Sisters, irrespective of age, interact at various levels with different age groups, or are

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involved in liturgy in various ways, or visiting the sick and elderly, or simply taking part in Sunday liturgy.
- Community time / prayer together: in some places these are lived in creative ways and relationships are appreciated and cherished; conscientious and careful budgeting; where there is respect for creation and a sense of conservation and recycling.
All this happens in a variety of ways and can contribute to a full and well-lived life together.
These ever-changing differences are also our potential: this rich diversity contributes to the overall charismatic unity of vision while respecting and welcoming our diverse cultures. With this conviction: only together, is it possible to find a common way forward.
 After various Meetings at Council level, and at District, Community and personal level, we can identify our logo, TODAY, it is: ROOTS and SIGNIFICANCE
We come face to face with what is the mainstay, sap-life-blood of our call where we find two vitally interwoven elements:
o the roots of our identity, our call in our particular Rosminian charism and spirituality in the history of our Congregation;
o the continual search, together with certain tensions (personal and communal), in expressing the profound significance of our identity, in our mission within the Church, in the world of today.
 Linked with this concept is the IMAGE presented in the letter of September 2017.
Let us ask again: How are we living?
how are we witnessing? Like a machine? Or like a WEAVER?
Where do we find the criteria that directs us in our needed discernment?
Our place, as women religious, is not there where we live, or where we work; our place is where we love, where we witness! Our first commitment consists in manifesting – prophetically – the Charism that seduces us, identifies us, the first love with which we responded to the call. This is the Charism that we must radiate, communicate, and prophesy. Remember that our specific way of living the Charism can be the best way the world has for reading the Gospel, for knowing God.
Inspired by these Orientations and Questions we arrive at the THEME of the next Chapter.
I CALL THE XII GENERAL ORDINARY CHAPTER
IN ROME – JULY 2019
Only TOGETHER we become Weavers of HOPE … in today’s world:
revitalizing our ROOTS … “like a tree planted by running water …
sending out its roots by the stream … and it never fails to bear fruit”. (Jer 17,8)
In the light of this theme, we will travel a “shared itinerary, a space for personal, communal and institutional reflection … examining our lives honestly in the light of the Gospel, with the desire and the intention of making courageous evangelical decisions, leading to revitalization, bearing fruits of joy”. (Rejoice)

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Linked to the theme of the Chapter is a thought contained the letter of Sept 2017: Real Hope goes hand in hand with Trust – characteristics of Providence which embrace the whole of life, beyond age and fragility, illustrated in the story of the Two Pots. The Chapter involves all of us, and even if we are broken pots, maybe we are providing ‘running water’ for unexpected new roots.
Recommendations
To prepare for the General Chapter, Coordinators will call the Local Chapter / Assembly, preceded by a time of reflection, keeping in mind the capacity of the different areas.
The Local Chapter / Assembly is convoked with the General Chapter in mind, and will be lived out in the same spirit (Cf. Const. 260) to look at the local reality, to identify challenges and possible perspectives. These Gatherings will take place in an atmosphere of co-responsibility, dialogue and community discernment and take into consideration the concerns of all the Sisters, for the well-being of local Districts and for the Congregation as a whole.
The aim of the Chapter and preceding Assembly is the RENEWAL of each one of us, of community life, and mission, with attention to today’s socio-cultural and ecclesial context in which we are inserted. In this technological and constantly evolving world we are called to face various challenges:
 declining or increasing numbers, difference of age;
 initial and on-going formation;
 relationships in community;
 the pace of personal and communal time;
 new developments and commitments;
 the ministry of hospitality;
 closure and opening of houses and apostolates - cost of closing or opening
economic situation: of Districts, of communities – lack of money , constantly changing Administrative Laws which make it very difficult to build or to begin new forms of apostolate.
On the Day dedicated to Consecrated Life – this year - Pope Francis affirms: “You too are journeying against the current … but like those women, keep moving forward, without worrying about whatever heavy stones need to be removed (cf. Mk 16:3). And like those women, be the first to meet the Lord, risen and alive.”
Careful preparation in attentive listening to the Spirit, to the Word of God, and in listening to one another will lead us to the General Chapter; this Chapter can only be successful in the measure in which it has been well prepared. Not simply in reference to good technical preparation - which certainly is important - but to an on-going preparation of minds and hearts, for which each Sister should feel responsible.
In this Year of Trust, I call on each one, to be personally involved: not only to use your expertise, your knowledge, your gifts but likewise to share the uniqueness and richness of your experience of a life centred on God. Consequently, together, we can discern and participate in the journey towards the Chapter: building on the past; rekindling and living the charism entrusted to us, concentrating on the Word of God – the source of our life, vocation and mission, and be open to what is God’s vision for the Congregation.
Fr Founder confidently advises: “… let us focus … solely on our Lord himself, the sure way to guide our footsteps, the truth, the life of our life, our whole good, above all other goods.”(AL Vol 5 Lett 166)
At the end of the XI Chapter Document (WTF) we focused on Icon of Cana: “But you have kept the good wine until now”. Jesus wants this good, he wants it for our life, for the fullness of our community, for the joy of women in the Church and in society. The new wine, which Jesus wants, is also the radiance of the Charism.

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During the course the year, Details in relation to the Chapter will be communicated.
In the coming months, can we set aside a day or a time of reflection, on a theme relevant to the Chapter? This will be organized according to the possibilities of each District / community.
(in some places it may be possible to do this more than once)
We shall also celebrate the Eucharist once a month to invoke the light of the Holy Spirit. Hail Mary, Pilgrim Woman, be with us on our journey; help us to discern God’s will in the service of our Sisters and Brothers. Hail Mary, Woman of Trust, who nourished and accompanied your Son from the moment of his conception … and your heart was pierced along the way, help us to trust in the providential care of God for us… today and in the days to come.
From 24 March,
in the words of the Psalmist,
let us pray together.
Aff. c.m.
O God, you are my God, for you I long; for you my soul is thirsting. My body pines for you like a dry, weary land without water. So I gaze on you in the sanctuary to see your strength and your glory.
For your love is better than life, my lips will speak your praise. So I will bless you all my life, in your name I will lift up my hands.
Praise is due to you,
O God, you who answer prayer! Happy are those whom you choose
and bring near to live in your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness
of your house, your holy temple.
O God of our salvation; you are the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas.
By your strength you established the mountains; You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have prepared it. You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges,
softening it with showers, and blessing its growth.
You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with richness. The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy,
the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.
Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is our refuge.