Official News Bulletin Nº 5
Rome, Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Today, on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, the Chapter Mothers participated in the Holy Mass at the Basilica of St. Peter's, in the Vatican. His Holiness Pope Francis presided at the Mass, during which he blessed the pallium for the new Metropolitan archbishops who were appointed during this year. A pontifical representative will later impose the pallium on the archbishops in their own Metropolitan Churches. At the beginning of the ceremony, the archbishops professed, in the presence of the Holy Father, the oath of fidelity and obedience to the Holy Church and to the Supreme Pontiff, as well as to his legitimate successors.
We give thanks to God for the opportunity to celebrate this beautiful and meaningful Solemnity of the Apostle Saints, patrons of Rome, together with the person of the Holy Father.
At noon, we had the joy of receiving a visit from H.E.R. Card. Theodore McCarrick, who joined us for lunch. At the end of the lunch, he shared a few reflections with us. For example, he spoke of the devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who we must always have present in our lives, imitating the relationship of the African slave boy, Manuel, with Our Lady of Lujan: he would often repeat, simply, but profoundly, "I belong to the Virgin, to her alone."
In the afternoon, we resumed the Chapter sessions, which were mainly aimed at continuing the evaluation of the work regarding the Houses of Formation. M. María de la Anunciación Prieto presented a report on the Juniorates, and M. María de Šiluva Mikalonis expounded on those who are responsible for formation, indicating the importance of the selection and formation of the Formators and presenting the current reality of the formation in our provinces. She also presented the "modos" (proposals) related to the topic that have been received for study in the General Chapter.
After the sessions were completed, we had Eucharistic Adoration and the Sacrament of Penance, and after solemn Vespers, M. Maria de Anima Christi gave the Good Nights.
Commenting on the Gospel of John, (Jn 21: 16, 18-19), M. Anima stated: "Immediately after Jesus asked St. Peter whether he loved Him, He entrusted him the guidance of his "sheep". He teaches Peter, the rock upon which he built his Church, that he would be led to the cross. In a certain way, He says the same to every person who carries out an office in the Church. All superiors must understand that roles of authority mean service. Moreover, to carry out his command, each superior will be led to the unknown, to the undesired, to places of hardship. All religious leadership ends with the cross. Many times, it is a leadership that makes us experience our own powerlessness and requires the humility that Jesus revealed on His throne, the cross. Only a profound love of Jesus Christ is capable of preparing the soul with the necessary disposition to follow Him wherever He wishes, trusting completely that He is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (Jn 14:6)".
M. Anima also spoke of how we must act as a family, always seeking the common good, more than our own personal good: "we have to make sure that we preserve the ideal of unity in diversity, of truth in charity. If we act in this way, God will grant us his blessing".
By way of conclusion, she emphasized that it does not escape the Providence of God that our IV Ordinary General Chapter is set in the Year of Mercy, that Pope Francis instituted, and concluded by entrusting our Institute to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, asking her that we Servidoras be a reflection of His face in this world.
In the evening, the festive dinner was organized by the Chapter Mothers and Sisters from the Province, "Our Lady Empress of China", who prepared typical dishes from the countries of the jurisdiction, assisted by other sisters who are studying in Rome, but come from the same province. The recreation included a presentation of photos and videos of the different foundations of the province and traditional songs.
María de Bethlehem Pinciroli