At the heart of life

The day of April 16 brings us to the heart of the works of the Chapter because it is totally dedicated to listening to the six-year report of Mother General, Sr. Lilia Agnese Contini. We found ourselves immersed in the reading of the reality of the Institute which holds together, at the same time, the light of Grace and the fatigue of the fragilities that mark our path as FMIJ. The drafting of the Report, which was done in collaboration with the General Council, is articulated into four  steps: it starts from a narrative of the six-year period, continues with an account of the work of the General Government based on what was entrusted to them by the General Chapter 2018, it pauses to look at what gives beauty to our family without hesitating to highlight the aspects that are in most need of conversion and purification, and at the end shares some processes that can be used to start together  to make our life and mission flourish.

The narrative of the six-year period saw the event of the global COVID-19 pandemic as a painful watershed which was a very challenging time for the life of each sister as well as for the entire religious family. The Covid years have brought out with greater intensity the challenges that the Institute is facing, urging us to take “steps” which are, first of all, opportunities to incarnate our faith in the Lord Jesus and let ourselves be educated by Him to look at our Franciscan community “as something willed by God” (Mother Maria Giuseppa, letter 321).

The afternoon, after each one has dedicated ample time to the rereading and reflecting on the texts of the Report, was dedicated to sharing and discussion in the assembly, deepening the themes of the report with the reflections that arose in the Capitulars from the suggestions that came about in the morning session.

In the morning of April 17 we dedicated ourselves to listening to the report of the General Treasurer, Sr. Silvana Piro. She presented to us the accounts of the six-year period, putting ourselves in a familial point of view, that is, broader compared to the personal and communal ones. This perspective, more than being functional to read the “numbers” correctly, is necessary to take on the consequences of what emerges from the economic situation of our religious family and grasp its deepest meaning. The fruit of this report has opened paths for us to follow, fruitful questions on how to embody the charism, how to live the mission, what choices to make, at the same time, faithful to the form of life and prophetic word in the Church and the world today.

After Sr. Silvana’s presentation, a dialogue opens in the assembly which resonates concerns and hopes but above all the desire to seek together courageous choices that have at heart Life, just as the Pope invites us in a passage from Evangelii Gaudium that we read together:

I dream of a “missionary option”, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization...

In the afternoon we found ourselves again in the hall for the presentation of the Chapter’s Working Instrument.

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