Rome (Italy). On the occasion of the start of October Extraordinary Missionary Month and of the Pan Amazon Synod, Mother Yvonne Reungoat, Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and National USMI President, sent a message of closeness and gratitude to Pope Francis in the name of all Consecrated women. Below is the complete text:
“Dear Pope Francis,
It is wonderful to be able to bring to you our affection and gratitude as October 2019 begins as the Extraordinary Missionary Month that you prophetically indicted ‘to increasingly awaken the awareness of the missio ad gentes and take up with new enthusiasm the missionary transformation of life and of pastoral care’.
The female religious communities presently working in Italy, together with the Italian missionaries spread over the five continents, in deep harmony with your vision for the Church and for the world, thank you sincerely from our heart. We feel like Mary, Woman of the Magnificat, who praises the Lord with her blessing song!
As you well know there are in our Communities many elderly and infirm sisters who have spent all their energies for the Gospel and who continue with sacrifice, prayer, and offering to support you in your demanding service of hope that you carry out without sparing yourself, with your serene and reassuring presence, trusting in the God who loves you so much, with the daily gestures that you give to encourage us to do as Jesus Himself would do, and with the very rich magisterium open 360 degrees on humanity, history, time.
During this Extraordinary Missionary Month, we commit ourselves with you to live communion with God in the awareness of the Lord’s mercy poured out on us. You often repeat to us that ‘it is much more important to realize how much we are loved by God, than by how much we love Him!’
Many sisters, young and old, with exuberance or in sickness, missionaries ad gentes, inter gentes, ad vitam witness the love of the Lord, silently coming close to the most rejected and excluded people, touching their suffering flesh, as companions on the journey.
Holy Father, our communities of consecrated life, in attentive listening to the Word and to your prophetic magisterium, are committed to joyfully gather the continuous stimuli to renewal and to commitment that come from true contact with the Lord Jesus, present and active through the Holy Spirit, in the pastoral and apostolic mission of evangelizing education and for care of our common home.
There are also various and numerous forms of missionary participation and animation in ecclesial structures and bodies, both locally and nationally: it is a silent and effective way to build the prophecy of togetherness!
The strengthening of communities of consecrated women inserted in missionary realities, which bear witness to a style marked by reciprocity, is a simple but generous gift we make to the religious families to which we belong and to the Church that is in Italy. Networking, missionary collaboration, inter-congregational efforts, are becoming realities that open up new horizons for the present and the future in the sequela Christi of the third millennium.
In this spirit we experienced the month of September as a “Time of Creation” according to your recommendation, as a time to reflect on our lifestyles and on how our daily choices are often harmful and do not take into account the people we serve. We know, as you wrote, that this is the time to make prophetic actions: we do not want to disappoint young people, and our communities are discerning and making courageous choices for the future for an abundant and full life for all.
The process of preparation for the now imminent Synod of Bishops – Special Assembly for the Pan-Amazon Region “Amazon: new paths for the Church and for an integral ecology” – has found many of our communities actively engaged in harmony with the ‘sister communities’ of the Amazon, but above all, our communities will be prayerful in offering so that it may be a fruitful and universal process of ecclesial conversion.
This Extraordinary Missionary Month, which we will live with Mary, our Sister and Virgin of the Rosary, we are sure will bring a new impulse for missionary animation, will increase the apostolic fervor of our religious communities, and support for the Christian communities entrusted to us, especially those of the peripheries, not only geographical, but also existential.
May passion for the Gospel in this Extraordinary Month that you call, stimulate in the heart of our religious communities a new impulse of holiness in daily life, industriousness in the good, fruitfulness of the seed in the heart of humanity.
With you, Holy Father, we continue the journey of hope: it is the gift we give you with Mary, a courageous witness of the Gospel made flesh in her womb. Our apostolic and missionary consecration can be, with her, dearest Holy Father, the source of a life-giving and sanctifying encounter with Jesus and with His love, source of consolation, peace, and salvation for so many men and women of our time”.
Rome 1 October 2019
Mother Yvonne Reungoat, FMA
USMI National President