May 10 began with prayer, prepared by sisters from Mauritius, which included this beautiful passage from Isaiah 58: The Lord will guide you always….You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets to dwell in.
Afterwards, Piluca introduced us to the work of Dr. Eric Law, a Presbyterian minister from the United States, on Interracial-Intercultural Dialogue. He says that whether cultural/racial discrimination exists or not in the group, if one person says there is discrimination going on, it needs to be taken seriously or it will certainly develop. With this in mind, we met as continents; each continent chose to meet in sub-groups for dialogue and then as a whole. It was in this way that we discussed the gifts we bring to our Congregation; the hurts and prejudices we experience; and what we want other cultural groups to know about us. Before lunch, the continental groups shared these in plenary session. Though we approached this dialogue with fear, resistance and even some gratitude, in the end we felt very grateful for the relief we experienced in being able to talk about such things during a congregational meeting. In doing this, we began to repair broken walls making our congregation a better place in which to dwell.
“I Have a Dream” provided musical background in a You Tube video of a little boy who made a bridge with his body so his even smaller sister could climb across a big gap in the sidewalk. This beautiful gesture touched us very deeply. He actually did what we are trying do among ourselves: build bridges.
Later in the afternoon, the General Council, Bursar and Secretary presented suggestions based on an evaluation of their experience of service within the congregation. When we enter more deeply into discussion about things related to reorganization and structures, the Council’s thoughts will be very helpful. This event was followed by feedback from written evaluations about our Chapter experience to this point. Our facilitator and translators got very high marks for good work. Wonderful! The day finished in group work on what we started yesterday regarding Life-Style, Formation-Education, Vocation Promotion and Associates so that our reports will be ready for presentation tomorrow.