Rome (Italy). On 13 September 2021, the Chapter members spent the day involving themselves in learning about the methodology on a telematic platform, which will be the basis of the chapter work, and listening to the words of the Mother General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sr. Yvonne Reungoat, introducing the Days of Prayer that the Chapter members will experience on 14 and 15 September 2021.
The day began in the Chapel with the Eucharistic Celebration presided over by Fr. Jesús Manuel García, Salesian of Don Bosco, chaplain of the Generalate, who encouraged us to live in an attitude of openness and availability to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit who guides us in the search for new paths to be undertaken as an Institute with charismatic fidelity and apostolic daring.
The work is preceded by the prayer inspired by Pope Francis’ Message for World Communications Day 2021, which invites us to listen to reality without prejudice, to reach the peripheries, to renew the desire to weave communion, and to share what we have “seen and heard” with hope in the God who summons and sends.
Dr. Nicola Bianconcini, Director and Manager of KEDOS, an IT services agency, then presented the use of Alfresco, a digital platform which, thanks to its open and modular architecture, facilitates collaborative work in synergy for document management.
In the afternoon, with the invocation to the Holy Spirit, the time of silence and listening to the Word is introduced. Mother General, Sr. Yvonne Reungoat, urges the participants to live in depth this time of prayer and silence “in listening to the Spirit, attitudes that are indispensable for creating the best climate for the XXIV General Chapter to be oriented towards a sincere and passionate search for the good of the Institute according to God’s plan, to renew fidelity to the charismatic gift that the Founders received and transmitted”.
With joy and in an attitude of prayerful silence, this space of interior growth is lived by listening to the Word: “They have no wine“ (Jn 2:3), and Jesus replies: “My hour has not yet come” (Jn 2:4). The hour of Jesus at Cana and ours, “we begin to live the hour that God had set from all eternity for this event of grace in the life of the Institute. We therefore prepare ourselves to experience it as a Kairos, in attentive and docile listening to all that the Spirit wants to suggest to us for the good of the sisters and of the young people entrusted to us”.
At 6.30 pm, as a praying community, the Chapter members live an intense time of Eucharistic adoration. It is the hour of grace, at Cana and for us. Mother invites us to reflect on the experience of Jesus and Mary, “it is a mystery to be contemplated and it is an encouragement to apply in daily life”.
In an atmosphere of silence, in the celebration of Vespers, the docile, humble, and open spirit of Mother Mazzarello is recalled, remembering the importance of being ready to serve and to listen to God in the diversity of environments and contexts in which each lives the mission of the FMA today, recalling that in Cana those who serve, “were not called to transform water into wine. They were called to fill the jars to overflowing, to pour a cup, and to give it to someone to taste. God does the rest!” (J Rogers).
It is the invitation to open our hearts to hope, to be servants of a new humanity, open to God’s saving plan, “Let us allow Mary to take us by the hand and lead where she knows that the ‘good wine’ of the feast is found”.