Rome (Italy). On 15 and 16 September 2020, with different schedules to reach all the continents, the Missions Sector organized a Video-Conference for the Province Coordinators and Referents entitled: “An Institute without borders: available to ‘go out’ to consolidate the missionary culture”.
The Video-Conferences were animated by the Councilor for the Missions, Sister Alaide Deretti and the Collaborator of the Sector, Sister Maike Loes who, introducing the meeting, motivated the choice of the theme: “It seemed important to us to keep the verb so dear to Pope Francis: “go out”. We have all been touched by the Covid-19 pandemic! We have all experienced its severity and we have all been locked in at home for a few months. Now it’s time to “go out”. To go out today, for us as the Missions Sector means looking to the future, even if we know nothing about the future. Meanwhile, we allow ourselves to be led by the hand by Hope, which is the virtue that makes us glimpse the future with confidence and creativity”.
After Paul VI’s prayer of invocation to the Holy Spirit and the greeting of the Councilor for the Missions, the participants shared the answers to the question received from the Sector, based on the affirmation of Sr. Alessandra Smerilli: “The pandemic was a tsunami. It amplified economic, gender, and work differences, but it has also provided us with the stimulus for a “new gaze”. And we know that much of what awaits us depends on how we will position ourselves. As Christians, we have the responsibility not to lose hope and to be weavers of fraternity; we cannot fall into the logic of division”. Starting from the experience lived during the pandemic, what will change in your style of animation and in your service as Province Coordinator/Referent of the Missions Sector?
28 FMA Coordinators /Referents and two lay people from 25 Provinces of the five Continents were present at the Video-Conference on September 15, while on September 16 there were 26 FMA belonging to 23 Provinces of America, Europe, Asia who shared the richness of their reflections with a great sense of belonging and in a climate of mutual listening. Understanding the languages was facilitated by the presence of two translators from the Generalate (RCG), Sister Mary Terzo and Sister Céline Rahantasoa.
Recalling the theme of the National Days of Missionary Formation and Spirituality , held online from 27 to 30 August 2020 – ‘Weavers of Fraternity’. “Here I am, send me!” – Sister Maike Loes invited the participants to live as “Weavers of Fraternity” and recalled the events of the Missionary October and the World Day of Migrants and Refugees (27 September 2020). She also recalled that until 4 October the “Time of Creation”, will be celebrated on the 5th anniversary of the publication of the Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ and in the month of October we celebrate one year since the Pan-Amazon Synod, opportunities that help to grow in the care of our Common Home.
Sister Alaide Deretti thanked the participants and introduced the choral prayer of the Magnificat at the conclusion of the online meetings: “A song of thanks springs from our hearts, the Magnificat rises to the Lord for all that He has done in us and through us. A Magnificat for the presence of Mary, disciple-missionary who always accompanies us. Our Magnificat to God for you dear sisters and dear brother, because you have been a precious bridge, a wonderful mediation, which has helped us to rekindle the missionary fire in the heart of the province and local realities”.