XXIII General Chapter - July 7th

July 7, 2007

A globe of the world passed from sister to sister during morning prayer. Some embraced it, some held it tight against cheek or heart while others offered it heavenward.

These beautiful gestures toward the world invited us to consider yet again, “What do we do with so great a love?” Soon after, Sr. Euphrasie Razafielinoro, general councilor, introduced Fr. Ilboudo Jean from Burkina Faso, a Jesuit assistant general for Africa and Madagascar. Through his presentation he led us even deeper into this Chapter theme.

African people like telling stories though parables. So, Fr. Jean told one created by an Indian Jesuit. A blind beggar had a sign which read, “I am blind have pity on me.” A donor turned over the sign and wrote, “Today is a beautiful day but I can’t see it.” Immediately, the beggar’s hat began to fill up! This simple story made crystal clear what a difference a positive message can make in life.

As Sisters of Mary Reparatrix/Marie Reparatrice we are so aware that the globe we received so reverently in the morning represents a world suffering from ecological devastation, and from poverty and violence of every kind. Fr. Jean reminded us of our call as religious to be prophets and pioneers of the 21st century, repairing, healing, compassionate women enflamed by the love of God.

Fr. Jean’s talk highlighted the rich blessings and challenges embraced by multicultural-international congregations like ours. Having been accompanied throughout the day by this man of Africa, we now anticipate an evening animated by our own women from Uganda, Kenya, Congo, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands in Loyola, Spain! Communion in diversity is made manifest in our work and play.