Message from the New Congregational Leader, Sr. Joan Lopez
Dear Sisters and Partners-in-Mission,
It is with great humility and a deep joy that I am in your midst virtually.
The delegates of the 31st Congregational Chapter have given me the mandate to take up the responsibility to, together with my team, lead the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd for the next six years.
I thank you for your confidence and trust in me.
Our praise and thanks to God for enabling us to hold this Chapter virtually. I also take this opportunity to thank all of you who have and still are involved in the planning, preparations, proceedings of the Chapter.
At this point, I would like to express our deep gratitude to Sisters Ellen Kelly, Susana Franco, and, all the members of the leadership team, Sisters Jude Ellen, Bridget, Mirian, Hanan, Lilly, Frances, Josita and Zelna for leading us and carrying out the mandate of the 30th Congregational Chapter.
In fulfilling your leadership responsibility, sisters, you drew strength, resources and wisdom from many. Our gratitude to all who were there to support you.
My dear sisters and partners-in-mission, we see the future coming towards us at a rapid pace. The future is whispering into our minds, hearts and will, calling us into ‘be-ing’. It is prompting us to walk mindfully, intentionally and courageously and take up the Chapter Directions. It is appealing to us to make the necessary shifts in our consciousness and work at radically transforming ourselves, the earth and the environment.
The future is beckoning us to live our one precious life, fully, joyfully and gratefully. It is reminding us of our commitment to embrace change, to evolve, to co-create our new governance structures, to bring about a universal culture of justice, to work towards the full engagement of partners-in-mission and to build meaningful relationships.
The future is urging us to deepen our spirituality and be integrated persons opening ourselves to continually learn and grow.
I like many of you, experience anxiety about what is ahead. Placing my faith in God, and, in all of you, I experience a quiet calm filling me, and, giving me hope. It is an experience of releasing my fears and uncertainties into the Universe and into our loving Creator.
I know that I am not alone. You, my sisters, my partners-in-mission, my family, my friends and collaborators are together with me. This is the assurance God promises us collectively and that you are assuring me of.
Today, too many continue to be impacted negatively by the Covid19 pandemic and other kinds of injustices. May we be their strength and their voice, as we strive to act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with our God.
Following in the footsteps of Saint John Eudes, Saint Mary Euphrasia, their partners-in-mission and the many committed people who have gone before us, may we be drawn together by love and be passionate for justice.
Joan Marie Lopez