Melinda Stricklen - Mid North America
Love overwhelms us and we want to talk about...do something about it!
All of history brings us into this moment. There will never be another time like this in the history of the world.
As we reflect on the Sacred Heart, the love of God that flows out into our suffering world, I invite you to be mindful that no one gives witness to that love the way you do. No one brings your gifts and talents to the mission the way you do -- never has, never will.
Do you remember the first time you fell in love? We only fall in love for the first time once and we rarely forget it regardless of the other great loves that come into our lives. Love overwhelms us and we want to talk about...do something about it!
This is the image that came to me as I reflected on what God's tender, caring, merciful, reconciling, all consuming love offers us, offers our world.
On the road to Emmaus: "didn't our hearts burn within us...". Phillip Pinto speaking of Jesus' disciples: "look how they love one another...".
This is what we are doing together: Loving and looking. Looking at our way of being in the world...systems, structures, policies and how these best serve our mission.
Loving and risking to do the next right thing and the next and the next, together for our deep love of our mission.
Courage go forth!
Reflection by Heidy - Bolivia
Looking at history in the footsteps of Rose Virginie Pelletier in Noirmoutier, know her house and the paths she had trodden.
To find me living in this special moment is a constant joy in which I have traversed all the places in the Mother House, have felt and imagined the presence of St. Mary Euphrasia, have listened with much feeling to her stories, have shared moments of prayer in the places she had been. This way has prepared me to open my heart and listen to the messages shared during these days which brought us to look at God present in Life and to make the Gospel alive. Also how to keep on looking at Mission in evolution. We have also rejoiced, admiring the ways that had been lived, inviting us to risk ourselves to think in advance looking at history in the footsteps of Rose Virginie Pelletier in Noirmoutier, know her house and the paths she had trodden. I thank God for this experience and to the Congregation for the invitation to dream together for the future.
Reflection by Rhonda Cumberland- Australia
The pilgrimage is a time for each person to find her or his deepest centre.
Be assured, we are risking for mission in Angers. Our conversations are challenging, engaging and focussed on the future. Much is before us. I wanted to express my appreciation to Noreen O'Shea for her report on the Spirituality Centre.
I am mindful that the first Australia New Zealand Pilgrimage to Angers will take place this October. A group of Mission Partners and Sisters will travel the 17,000 kilometres and each will discover their own foundational experience.
Our Mission Partners know about our foundational story. They have participated in orientation and formation programs. They know about Madame Lamy, Mary Euphrasia's experience in Tours, and how the tunnel was built. Our foundational sources call us to visit today.
How different would our history be if Monsieur Pelletier were a farmer or fisherman. How different would our story be if the Bishop encouraged Mary Euphrasia to come and go as she pleased from the Mother House. How different would it be if Madam Lamy was ill that day and stayed at home.
These history pages have turned for nearly four hundred years. The stories live because they speak of actions taken that were out of step with their time. At Bon Pasteur the records have been impeccably kept. We have primary sources, letters and diaries, well preserved, restored and protected. The wonderful Museum will soon be open for all to visit.
A place can talk in ways that books can't, Noreen said.The pilgrimage is a time for each person to find her or his deepest centre. This centre often holds us together when other things fall apart. The pilgrimage in October will hold together Angers and Australia New Zealand, the Congregation's most geographically remote Province. I know that many Good Shepherd people, Sisters and Mission Partners, have not had the opportunity to come to Angers. I hope that in future many will come from near and far.
MORE PICTURES FROM NANCY (FLICKR)
The Liturgy for the mass was prepared by the provinces of Singapore/ Malaysia, Australia/ Newzealand/Aotearoa and Indonesia
for the farewell to our Mission Partners