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July 2013 ... Pilgrimage in the footsteps of Marie Madeleine
Companions in Mission and some staff from FCJ schools had the opportunity to make this pilgrimage. More ...

A Historic Meeting at the Kairos Centre, Roehampton, London, England
25 June — 1 July 2013

As Sr Katherine Mary OFlynn,  the FCJ General  Superior, said in her opening address, the recent gathering of Companions in Mission and FCJ Sisters, was an historic occasion.  In the lovely setting of the Kairos Centre on the edge of Richmond Park in west London,  the Companions met together to look to the future.  The Companions in Mission came from all corners of the world, north and south, east and west.

The theme of the meeting was ‘Faithful to the Vision’ and there were three main aspects to it; vision, formation and organization.  There was time to consider how the Companions in Mission can develop a greater sense of belonging to the one worldwide body of CiMs and a sense of their corporate and personal mission.  Attention was given to the important topic of formation as requested by many groups.  Building on the experience of the previous twelve years the participants shared on how best support the Companions as they continue their journey once they have made commitment

In her opening address Sr Katherine Mary reminded the group that ‘being a Faithful Companion of Jesus or to be a Companion in Mission means living a relational spirituality.  We are not going to God alone, rather we go as companions relating to one another and to all that God has created.   Companionship is an amazing gift but it also stretches us as the words “cum panis”  (with bread/companion)  imply.  We break the bread of our lives with others, we share who we are and all that we have as we seek to live justly and love tenderly.   We find the strength for this in our own personal spiritual journey as we grow in relationship with Jesus our Companion and seek to live as he lived.  In doing this, we experience Jesus sending us on mission to others.  What we receive is not for ourselves but to be shared. So there is the dynamic movement of being “contemplatives in action.’ …I have been very moved when meeting with CiMs and hearing how they live the FCJ charism and mission in places where FCJs never go.  You are on mission as you relate to your families, children, grandchildren, your friends and connections,  those you meet in various situations and in your places of ministry.  You are messengers of God’s love for them in a particular way.  Recently while reflecting on the development of CiMs , it occurred to me that this is an evolution of the FCJ charism in our time.   Just as the universe is dynamic and evolving, so too is the living of the charism which was first given to Marie Madeleine in 1820 in France!

The gathering was truly memorable and as one of the participants wrote  ‘For me the highlight was the completion of our Handbook that sends the signal that Faithful Companions of Jesus and Companions and Mission are now firmly woven into ‘one heart from many strands.’  Our evening of entertainment truly confirmed this with poetry, songs, dances and skits from all the corners of ‘our’ world. My heart is full. My hope is great. We have a long journey ahead of us but I know we will become a new dream that will make Marie Madeleine proud.

Now it is time to leave,  to return to carry the flame ignited by ‘our’ General Superior Katherine Mary back to our homes, to our Companions and to those who will become Companions to our Lord Jesus.’

May they rest in peace!
We pray for Marcia de Groot, CIM, Melbourne, Austrialia and Carlos Sebastian, CiM, Toronto, Canada, who died earlier this year, and their families and friends.

April 28th, 2013 — Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Welcome to Maria Diwi Budi Jumpowati and Kartika Setiawati who made their first commitment.

February 18, 2013— Victoria, Australia
Welcome to Jane Mellett, Caroline Connell and Irene McGrane renewed their first commitment.

December 2nd, 2012 — Salta, Argentina
Welcome to the seven Companions in Mission who made their first commitment.

October 13th, 2012 — Galati, Romania
Congratulations to Doina Gheorghiu, Ionel Gheorghiu and Romana Drasovean who renewed their commitment.

October 13th, 2012 — Toronto, Ontario
Congratulations to Francisco Rico, Loly Rico and Carlos Sebastian who renewed their commitment. (Carlos has since died, may he rest in peace.)

September 30th, 2012 — Durham, USA
Welcome to Migdalia Perez and Vera Alston who made first commitment; Congratulations to Joanne Burden, Isabel Kovalik and Jennifer Lischer who renewed their commitment.

September 2012 — Edmonton, Alberta
Congratulations to Doug Krefting, Laura Krefting and Yoon Ok Shin who renewed their commitment.

2012 — Calgary, Alberta
Welcome to Lis Speirs, Marilyn Wallace, Terrie Coombs, Marilyn Howey, Brienne Tappay, Lisa Gilead, Barbara Nicholson who made their first commitment.

July 14th, 2012 — Melbourne, Australia
Welcome to Anne Rennie, Camian Whelan, Mel Fernandez and Isobel Jiuffrida who made first commitment.

Sisca on the day of her Final Vows.Sisca’s Perpetual Profession
Nowadays many people are afraid of making commitments but this young woman, Sisca, is placing her complete trust in God and offering herself to a life of religious service. Thank you, Sisca, for sharing this important date with us. Your commitment and the beautiful liturgy lifted us up and provided us with faith and hope for the future of the FCJ Society and the Church.
Shirley Yau, CiM, Melbourne

FCJ Asia-Australia Province Assembly
The opportunity to meet Sisters from Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines and attending Sisca’s Profession of Vows made this a very special day, filled with blessings and companionship in the charism passed on from Marie Madeleine.
Neena Shanks, CiM, Benalla

Reflections of CiMs in Asia-Australia

I am a wife, a mother and a grandmother. Marie Madeleine is a model for me. She, too, was a wife, a mother and a grandmother. She knew the ups and downs of life and she found strength and direction in prayer as I do.
Geraldine Peck, CiM, Melbourne

As a CIM in formation, increasingly aware of Marie Madeleine D’Houët’s legacy and coming to an understanding of the FCJ charism, to be able to stay with the Sisters at Stella Maris, Broadstairs was an absolute  highlight. It has confirmed my commitment to the mission and vision of the FCJ Society and I treasure this special time with a group of wonderful women - these women of outrageous hope.
Ann Rennie, CiM in Formation, Melbourne

VanVan on the day of her final vows with some CiMs.My image of God has changed since I became part of the CiM program. I believe that God loves me and my family. I have learnt to communicate with God in a personal way. Awareness is also something I have learnt in the program; the awareness of what I say and do and especially in making decisions everyday in my family or in the center.
Roselle Garcia Casas, CiM in Formation, Manila

In 2010, I joined the formation group for Companions in Mission of the FCJ Sisters in Manila. This formation has been a big help for me. It deepens my faith and brings me closer to God. The different forms of prayer help me to become reflective and find more quiet time with Jesus…..
Evangeline Bordios, CiM in Formation, The Philippines

December 17th, 2011 — Victoria, Australia
Danielle and Mario Maugeret renewed their commitment.

December 6th, 2011 — Benalla, Australia
Kathy Bailey and Jane Branigan renewed their commitment in the FCJ College chapel at the conclusion of an ecology re-treat lead by Anne Morrison fcJ.

CiMs in Toronto with Sr. Anne MarieDecember 10th, 2011 — Toronto, Canada
On December 10th Anne Marie represented Trish in receiving the renewal of commitment of CiMs. One CiM renewed commitment for 6 years. Jane Galvin fcJ and Anouska Robinson-Biggin fcj (Province of Europe) joined us for the celebration.

Our CiM monthly meetings were held as usual during the year. Gordon Rixon SJ came as a guest speaker for one session. He addressed the topic of the Ignatian method of growing in relationship with God who longs for our relationship in love. The method to facilitate this is the daily Examen. Gordon's presentation and the group's response led to reflection on the 'empty vessel' and the 'I thirst' of Marie Madeleine.

CiMs attended the Refugee Street Party hosted by Loly and Francisco Rico in the summer. They had an opportunity then to mingle with many refugee families and their friends and to hear federal and provincial politicians speak their appreciation of the work done by the FCJ Refugee Centre. In November Marcella fcJ and some CIMs attended the Gala Dinner to celebrate the FCJ Refugee Centre's 20th Anniversary

December 3rd, 2011 — Calgary, Canada — Quenching Our 'Thirst.'
Doug Krefting, CiM writes: Bonnie fcJ, Laura (Doug's wife, also a CiM) and I had a farewell get together with many of the people who accompanied us as together we experienced the process of the two sets of sessions entitled '˜Come Taste and See' and '˜Emerging freedom.' Eleven members of this group have applied for and been accepted as CiM candidates. The new CiM group in formation will be accompanied on the next part of the journey by Sisters Ita Connelly and Terry Smith. Comments from some of the participants indicate what they gained by participating in this course.

'I can honestly and happily admit this has been a rich and rewarding journey and each and everyone one of you have inspired, challenged and uplifted me in my small journey of spiritual growth. It has been humbling to see some of the depths that we've shared, and for those of us continuing on together, I hope that we can continue to grow and nurture one another.'

'I want to thank ... you for your wonderful hearts and spirits as you guided all of us through the first of the CIM experience. Very personally speaking, I came to respect your lovely, uncomplicated way of supporting me through another level of coming to know God.'

'I ... wanted to let you know that I truly believe that you both were a gift given to me at a time when I was lost in my faith journey. You have opened my eyes, heart and mind to whole new experience that one day I know I can share with others.'

Large tapestry hanging behind the altar in the chapel of Sacred Heart Convent, Calgary.'I am so grateful for the fellowship and faith-sharing times that we spent together. I am sorry that distance prevents me fromcontinuing on this journey with you. As I seek to live more contemplatively, I will carry in my heart the wisdom and love for Christ that each one of you has witnessed in our sharings.'

'I wish to thank you for the many ways you have impacted my life in our short journey together.'

These responses tell me that our work with this group was inspired by the cycle of 'I thirst' and ''¦ take the water of life'. When we provided this group with the opportunity to '...take the water of life' their 'thirst' was quenched. (Look at the photo of the Calgary FCJ Centre Chapel tapestry with these words.)We also found that our 'thirst' was being quenched by the 'the water of life' that flowed from the group back to us. This was the result of our approach to taking the CiM movement forward by offering a taste of the spirituality that, in my experience, we lay people are thirsting for. We would be very interested in hearing about other approaches to slaking this thirst.

Marilyn Howie, participant, responded:
Come, Taste and See: I came. I tasted of God's goodness and I see how He is always directing my life. This was for me an invitation to learn more along my journey through deeper focusing and sharing with others. My spirit opened more and I tasted of His goodness as I looked for Him in my daily walk. I saw Him in our group's lives as we all shared and in many areas where before I had not noticed. (I especially liked the experience of meeting God '“ with no expectations from others, just to be me and opening my spirit to see Jesus.)
Emerging Freedom: Another wonderful experience '“ Going a bit deeper - Areas of looking into self. Inviting the Holy Spirit to direct me and teach me new things. Seeing God in all things. The reality of living in this life but also living into shadow (consolation and desolation). As we opened our spirits to God's direction in our lives '“ who continues to meet us where we are '“ walking with us along our individual journeys. We learn from each other and through prayer times see others with more 'gentle eyes'. My journaling, prayer times and examen at the end of the day are wonderful times. I have looked at journaling differently, my prayer times are more centred and not all over the place and as I had never done the examen before am really enjoying it as I fall asleep with my Lord. (You see I do this in bed) I would encourage anyone to participate in such a group. Be open to God's leading and you will be Amazed as to where He will direct you.

December 2011 — Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA
Madeleine Gregg fcJ hosted an Advent Retreat for CiMs and prospective Companions in Mission.

New Facebook Page
Fred Klug CiM from Tuscaloosa began a Facebook page for eastern USA CiMs who wish to communicate in this way.

New Project — Middlesbrough, England
Josie Wilson, (Clare Hand's sister), who is part of the CiM formation group, began a project in St. Joseph's Primary School making and selling items which will generate funds that can be donated to charitable causes. The '˜seed' money was collected by FCJ communities in Britain to mark the 180 years celebration of Marie Madeleine's arrival in Somers Town, London.

Photo of the Companions in Mission in Indonesia.October 31st 2011 — Yogyakarta, Indonesia
A lovely ceremony took place when twelve people made their first commitment. Issri Windarjati, who was not well enough, could not come (but made her commitment later in a private ceremony). Twenty FCJs attended, from the Soropadan and Baciro communities plus the Sisters preparing for Final Vows. Sr. Barbara Brown-Graham fcJ gave a reflection on the Gospel and the 'Story Goes On' and spoke of the responsibilities of Companions in Mission. Sr. Margaret O'Donohue received their commitment on behalf of Sr. Judith Routier fcJ, Provincial of Asia Australia. The new Companions in Mission are: Theresia I. Windarjati, Scholastica I. Windarti, Agata S. Hartati, Alberta Tan Siu Ing, Chatarina Suciwati, Dominikus T. Chandra, M. Yuliana R. Iskand, Sophia W. Widiati, Franciskus B. Sudar-want, Pudji Tursana, B. Alphatiwi Budi Kristanti, MM Asri Effendi, Issri Windarjati and M. Yustina Suharmi.

September 2011- International Companions in Mission Day

Toronto FCJs and CiMs gathered on Internation Companions in Mission Day.Toronto, Canada. In September CiMs in Toronto gathered to celebrate the Society-wide Companions in Mission Day. The theme for theprayer was 'Spirit of the Living God.' At reflection time they spoke of Marie Madeleine's unbounded reliance on the Spirit of God which gave her the courage to be a woman on mission. Each one present took the occasion of sharing on the Spirit's intervention in their lives... all so unique and blessed. Later we enjoyed social time over refreshments.

Broadstairs, England. Eileen Teahan CiM, shares: We celebrated Companions in Mission Day with all the sisters at Stella Maris. The Lord kindly added to the feel good factor, by giving us a warm sunny day. In true community style we all contributed to a 'bring and share lunch' which was enough to feed five thousand! We enjoyed the chance to catch up on our different summer break activities, but missed four of our members who were unable to attend because of ill health. After our lunch we moved into the D'Houët Room for a power point prayer session. The pictures used were most inspiring and helped us to thank God for our lives, our health and our companions throughout the world. Here too we remembered our four absent members and prayed for their recovery.

September 11th 2011— Victoria, Australia
A ceremony of renewal of commitment took place. Marcia de Groot, CiM, writes: '˜For recent Companions in Mission, renewal is for three years. Other Companions had reflected on and chosen one of the new options. Neena Shanks, Margaret Kennedy, Julie Chamberlin, Pat Fitzgerald, Shirley Yau, Marcia de Groot, Margaret Feely, Geraldine Peck, Berna Duffy and Beverley O'Hara made their re-commitment in the chapel of Genazzano College, Kew. They were welcomed and accepted by Sr Catherine Flynn fcJ, Delegate of the Province Leader, Sr Judith Routier fcJ. Proceedings began with an acknowledgment of the indigenous connection with the land and a hope for reconciliation. The wider significance of the date in the USA , 9/11, was acknowledged. The ceremony was attended by sisters from the various Victorian FCJ communities and by Companions-in-formation and friends. In a closing prayer, inspiration was drawn from the life of Marie Madeleine d"Houët. The ceremony concluded with a blessing written by Elizabeth Pike, one of the local indigenous leaders.'

June 2011 — Portsmouth, Rhode Island, USA
Companions in Mission Jen Abbate (Rhode Island USA) and Isabel Kovalik (Durham USA) collaborated with Madeleine Gregg fcJ in the Leadership Camp for young girls held annually in Portsmouth.

June 26th, 2011 — Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Group of CiMs in Calgary, Canada.A group of sixVictor and Rosie Rosa, Josie Galvon, Nancy Doetzil, Altagracia and Alberto Ramosmade first commitment: in the Chapel of Sacred Heart Convent, Calgary.

April 2011 — Kew, Melbourne Australia
One of the celebrations to mark the Anniversary of the declaration of heroicity of Marie Madeleine's virtuous life was held at Kew. Two Companions, Margaret Feely and Pat Fitzgerald joined Maureen Merlo fcJ in preparing a Prayer Ritual for the FCJ Communities and CiM in Melbourne. This was a most inclusive, simple and prayerful gathering. Following the Prayer Ritual, all celebrated the occasion in great style with a meal at the Community House

March 2011 — Australia
In Australia Margaret Hayes fcJ led the Benalla CiM group in an evening of reflection and all who participated felt enriched by this. In May, the two Melbourne groups, together with those in Formation, also had a Twilight Reflection from 5.00-9.00 pm. This was facilitated by FCJs Catherine Morrison and Denise Mulcahy. The evening focused on God's great and unending love for each of us and on the Heroicity of Marie Madeleine. All present brought food for a shared meal.

Photo of CiMs in Limerick.March 15th 2011 — Bruff, Co Limerick. Ireland
Mary Browne, Mary Dooley, Pat McElroy and Anne O'Sullivan renewed their commitment for the second time.

March 14th 2011 — Maryville FCJ Residence,
Laurel Hill, Limerick, Ireland

Five Companions in Mission made their First Commitment: Joan Raleigh, Hilda Raftery, Marie Kirby, Brigid (Biddy) Hayes, and Caitríona O'Sullivan.

Both these ceremonies in Ireland were, as the Companions said, very touching and emotional, solemn and yet so simple. We praise and thank God for these fine women who have chosen to walk the way with us. Both groups expressed their appreciation of the privilege they feel in being part of our world-wide group and were overwhelmed by, and expressed their deep gratitude to, all those Sisters and Companion in Mission groups who sent them good wishes for the occasion.

Three CiMs in Edmonton.September 27th, 2010 — Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Three happy Companions in Mission — Yoon Ok Shin and Laura and Doug Krefting — renewed their commitment in the FCJ chapel in Edmonton on Monday September 27th.  They are .  The celebration included a beautiful Mass, ceremony of Commitment and supper together with Edmonton FCJs, Father Don McLeod CSB and the Companions in Preparation.

September 26th, 2010 — Calgary, Alberta, Canada
The re-commitment ceremony of five Companions in Mission (Mary Balasch, Cathy Heaton, Jésus Marquez, Valerie Ross and Pat Molesky) took place on September 26th in Sacred Heart Convent chapel. The group gave the FCJ Sisters a beautiful Maple tree in memory of Paulette Greener, RIP, who had made first commitment as part of this group. Jesus had made a metal candelabra for vigil lights which formed part of the sacred space and will add to the decor on future festive occasions.

Companions in Mission with formators in Calgary.

September 26, 2010 — New and 'Re-newed' CiMs in the United States
In Durham, Jennifer Lischer and Isabel Kovalik made first commitment, while JoAnn Burden renewed her commitment. In Tuscaloosa, Ann Kearney, Fred Klug, Steve Scully and Judy Scully made first commitment and Phyllis Stanley, Nancy Taylor, Genevieve Snipes, Gail Gorday, Barbara Rountree and Kathie Viselli renewed their commitment. Loving congratulations to all!

Second Annual Companions in Mission Celebration
For the second time, our Annual Celebrations of Companions in Mission took place throughout the Society. The FCJs and the CiM formation group in Indonesia sent all the CiMs and CiMs in preparation a special message: "Dear Companions in Mission and Companions in Mission in Training, we, your FCJ Sisters and your Companions in Mission in Training in Yogyakarta send you our greetings, our love and our prayers ... Wishing you a very happy CiM Day ... We will be celebrating with you and united in companionship and love." The Companions in Mission in Stella Maris, England, gathered on CiM day to reminisce about the Pope's visit to Britain, the outcome of which was a pleasant surprise to all who were apprehensive. This enthusiastic sharing was followed by prayer and a celebration 'tea' with the FCJs. To read about the celebration in Toronto, click here.

Celebration of First Commitment in GalaÅ£i, Romania — September 13th, 2010
The three first CiMs in Romania (Ionel Gheorghiu, Romana Drasovean and Doina Gheorghiu) made their first commitment in the parish church. The celebration was full of joy and excitement. After the ceremony, and following pizza and cake, the FCJs and CiMs danced the wedding dance with the CiMs in the middle. An evening of Romanian dancing followed. 'Romana, Doina and Nelu could not believe the number of cards and messages they received from all over the world, and feel that they have suddenly become part of a much bigger family than they ever realised. We had lunch together on Sunday, CiM Day, to re-member and to savour the joy of September 13th, and to look ahead to what we hope to do together in the coming months.

September 21st, 2010 — Marie Madeleine's birthday

Missioning Service in Bruff.CiM Missioning Service in Bruff, Ireland,
September 2010

May 4th, 2010 — Dublin, Ireland
Congratulations to Mary O'Connell and Maeve Kerney who renewed their commitment.

March 10th, 2010 — Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Congratulations to Francisco Rico-Martinez, Loly Rico and Carlos Sebastian who renewed their commitment as Companions in Mission on Wednesday, March 10. 

March 3rd, 2010 — Hartlepool, England
Kath Borret, Betty Wilcox, Cath (Kitty) Gillen, Margaret Costello, Mavis Reed, Mary Windram and Jean Taylorson renewed their commitment. Congratulations!

December 6th, 2009 — Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA
Five Companions in Mission in Tuscaloosa renewed their commitment in a simple ceremony: Kathie Viselli, Phyllis Stanley, Gail Gorday, Barbara Rountree, and Genevieve Snipes. Our congratulations and prayers go with you!

October 25 2009 — First Group of Indonesian Men and Women
                                   
prepare to become Companions in Mission
More than 20 people were invited to an information evening about FCJ Companions in Mission which was held on Sunday August 25. 18 people attended-and there were several apologies from people who may still be able to join the program and begin their preparation to become FCJ Companions in Mission. Ages ranged from 29 to 70.

The first meeting is scheduled for October 25 with subsequent meetings on every fourth Sunday of the month from 4 - 7pm, and it seems certain that we will have a good-sized, enthusiastic group.

One woman, Pudji, came all the way from Jakarta, a journey of several hours by train .After the tsunami in Aceh, Pudji and Dewi fcJ were working together in the relief effort.

The Participants' main worry was the possibility of not being able to attend every meeting if it should clash with parish or other important commitments. We hope to find a way round the problem. The team is composed of Sisters Agnes Dini, Clare, Dewi and Rachel - two from each of the Yogya FCJ communities. We are grateful for your prayers for all involved in our first Companions in Mission group.

October 25, 2009 — Day of Celebration — Companions in Mission,
                                                                   Western Region, Province of the Americas
On Sunday, October 25, 2009, the staff of the FCJ Christian Life Centre hosted their annual "Harvest Tea" for all friends, family and community associated with the Centre.  This event provided an opportunity for the Companions in Mission as a group to meet and greet so many close friends of the Centre and of the community of sisters.  The "Harvest Tea" was an opportune setting for the Companions in Mission to share with others their special day.  Together with the many friends who came to enjoy the afternoon, we socialized, prayed and sang. The event provided a way to network and to talk about our lay associate status, the deepening of our spiritual journey and the privilege we have of sharing in the charism of the Society of Sisters, Faithful Companions of Jesus.  This time together helped to create a more public face for our group and to strengthen the meaning of our commitment as Companions.    

October 10, 2009 — Companions in Mission — Tarija, Bolivia
The Companions in Mission, together with Sisters Patricia Binchy, Marguerite Goddard, Anne Morrison, Juana Rios and Terry Smith, met at the home of Jorge Velasquez for their monthly meeting. The Companions had suggested that after sharing on the first part of the Sacred Circle we should have a big barbecue to celebrate the First Annual Celebration Day of the Companions in Mission since the last Sunday of September was not possible for us. The morning was warm and Jorge, his sisters and Jimena Vaca, CiM, were very gracious hosts. We recognized that Jorge was courageously leading the prayer only moments after his pet, a dog who had been with him for years, died. Marguerite disappeared from the meeting to comfort the family and the other two dogs. As it turned out, we had a good sharing on the theme of light and were grateful to have Trish and Marguerite with us. We intend to focus on the Sacred Circle material at our monthly meeting in November.

CiMs in Tarija relax as they enjoy a meal together.

We would like to share with other Companion in Mission groups something that has been a great help in building bonds amongst us. Each month we go to the home of a different Companion or to the FCJs. The host or hosts, given that we have married couples, generally prepare a prayer and a light snack for mid-afternoon. After the meeting itself we have supper that the hosts have prepared. As for the content of the meeting, one FCJ and one Companion work together to guide us in a reflection on the chosen theme. We are very grateful to Jésus Marquez, CiM from Calgary, Canada, who has sent us translations of the first four themes.

September 27, 2009 — First Annual Celebration of FCJ Companions in Mission
On the last Sunday of September (or another date convenient in each local area) the first Annual Companions in Mission Day was celebrated throughout the Society. This newly instituted event will be an annual celebration of the life and work of the Companions in Mission. To read about celebrations in London and Toronto, click here.

October 1 2009 — Turin, Italy
A group of companions made commitment in Turin Italy on October 3, 2009. The celebration coincided with the Jubilee Celebrations for Sisters Anna Maria Zandoná  and Maria Teresa Scabeni, during a weekend when a large group of FCJs was present in Turin for a conference given by Sr. Tiziana Longhitano OFM, on the theology of the cosmos.

June 23, 2009 — Portsmouth, Rhode Island, USA
A group of companions renewed their commitment for the second time.

New Somers Town CiMs.

 

June 13, 2009 — Somers Town, London, England
Nadine Kandolo, Lourdes Cunanan, Ivy Rodrigues, and Anne Smyth made their first commitment. This is the most multi-cultural group of all the CiM groups, representing the Congo, the Philippines, India and Britain, and is indicative of the multicultural character of the city of London. May our world be as united as they are!

 

Calgary renewal 2.

2009 — Calgary, Alberta, Canada
A group of the Calgary Companions in Mission renewed their commitment for the second time. Patricia Flores, Sheila Lewrenz, Mary Robertson, MaryLou Flaherty and Dolores D'Amour celebrated the occasion with friends, family and FCJ sisters.

 

Julie Chamberlin honoured by the Australian Government in 2009
We are proud to acknowledge the great honour given to Julie Chamberlin, one of our Companions in Mission, in the Australian Government Honours List published yesterday.  She was honoured for service to education through a range of executive and teaching roles in the Catholic education system. We know that this honour is so justly deserved and, certainly, the FCJs have been and are beneficiaries of Julie's great generosity in sharing her many talents in the service of others.  If you link from (or alternatively, type into your browser) the following web address,
you will have the opportunity to offer your own congratulations. 
http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=14295

May 1, 2009 — Richmond, Australia
The two Melbourne groups of Companions in Mission — Marcia de Groot, Bernadette (Berna) Duffy, Pat Fitzgerald, Danielle Maugueret, Mario Maugueret, Shirley Yau, Julie Chamberlin, Margaret Feely, Margaret Kennedy, Beverley O'Hara, and Geraldine Peck — renewed their commitment.

CiMs in Benalla.

 

April 19, 2009 — Benalla, Australia
The ceremony of first Commitment for the group of Companions in Mission in Benalla, Australia - Kathy Bailey, Jane Branigan, Debbie Saunders and Neena Shanks took place at FCJ College Chapel, Benalla. We thank God for this, our first group in Benalla. May there be many more in the years to come as our charism finds a home in others!

April 3, 2009 — Stella Maris, Broadstairs
The very first group of Companions in Mission to complete formation: Amanda Jenko, Ann Treacy, Charmian Amos, Dorothy D'Ardenne, Maureen Francis and Rita O'Rourke, renewed their commitment once more.

March 28, 2009 — Tarija, Bolivia
Groups of CiMs in Tarija with the local Bishop.
In presence of the Bishop whose secretary, Ciro is one of this new group of Companions in Mission, Irene Serrano, Jimena Vaca, Jorge Velásquez and Ciro Donaire made their first commitment. On the same day, Gema Quinones Rios and her husband, Wilson Anazgo Rueda; Santusa Tolaba Aguilera and her husband, Robert Cardozo Morales and Adelma (Ada) Segovia Castillo renewed their commitment.

September 2, 2008 — Bruff, Ireland
The companions in Bruff, Mary Dooley, Anne O'Sullivan, Mary Browne and Pat McElroy, renewed their commitment.

August 25, 2008 — Durham, USA
Jo Ann Burden and Martina Young renewed their commitment as FCJ Companions in Mission. The photos below show Mary Leahy fcj, Martina signing the register; Martina and Jo Ann; Jo Ann signing the register of commitment.

Renewal of Commitment in Durham.

July 21, 2008 Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Six women made commitment as FCJ Companions in Mission: AJ de Montgris, Jennifer Andress, Nancy Taylor, May Lou Horn, Elicia Huffaker and Adriana Rodriguez.

April 23, 2008 - Dublin, Ireland
Mary O'Connell and Maeve Kerney renewed their commitment. Thanks to all our Sisters throughout the Society who give great encouragement and support to Companions in Mission in their own area.

April 20, 2008 — Calgary, CanadaSecond group of Companions in Mission in Calgary.
Family and friends of our six new Companions gathered in the Chapel of Sacred Heart Convent to witness the commitment of Mary Balasch, Paulette Greenner, Catherine Heaton, Jesús Marquez, Pat Molesky-Brar and Vallerie Ross.

Each of the Companions had brought a symbol to place in the Sacred space, a prepared statement about what being a Companion-in-Mission meant to them, and after commitment, each had a rose to place in a vase and a candle to light. The symbols included a mandala, a little 'empty vessel' a rough stone, a vigil light, a poem, a beaver Tee shirt, and a little bowl of water containing a heart. Sr. Imelda Toomey, delegated by Sr Patricia Binchy, received the commitment of each in turn.

Our opening hymn, Here I Am was sung in English and in Spanish so that Jesús Marquez and his family could feel included. The first reading from Isaiah 42 was in both languages and Jesús made his commitment in Spanish. The ceremony included a short introduction to Marie Madeleine and to St. Ignatius, so that visitors could learn a
little more about FCJ spirituality.

April 5, 2008 — Edmonton, Canada
Doug and Laura Krefting and Yoon Ok Shin made their first commitment on the 150th Anniversary of the Death of Marie Madeleine. A tree planting service in commemoration of the anniversary was part of the celebration.

May 1, 2007 - S. Mauro, Italy
Our new Companions in S. Mauro, Italy scored a triple first! On the first of May 2007 this first group of Italian Companions made their first commitment for two years in the chapel of the FCJ community in Turin:- Gemma Balocco, Carla Balzala, Alma Borello, Costanza Calia, Luigi Comollo, Massimo Dacasto, Elisabetta Manella and Anna Savio in Comollo.

Their commitment was received by Mary Fitzpatrick fcj, Provincial of the Continental Province. Thank you to the FCJs who have journeyed faithfully with our Companions and who continue to companion with them.

First Companions in Mission in Italy.

April 30 2007 — Melbourne, Australia
Two group of Companions in Mission renewed their commitment:

(1) Marcia de Groot, Bernadette Duffy, Patricia Fitzgerald, Danielle Maugueret, Mario Maugueret and Shirley Yau.
(2) Geraldine Peck, Margaret Kennedy, Margaret Feely, Beverley Horgan and Julie Chamberlin
.

April 28 2007 — Tuscaloosa, USA
Genevieve Snipes, Barbara Rountree, Gail Gorday made first commitment. Our congratulations and our prayers are with all of our Companions in Mission as they live out their commitment.

April 26, 2007 — Stella Maris
Charmian Amos, Dorothy D'Ardenne, Maureen Francis, Amanda Jenco, Rita O'Rourke, Ann Treacy renewed their commitment for the second time. Sr. Jo Grainger fcJ received their commitment in the presence of members of the Central and Local Communities. It was a deeply moving and prayerful occasion. Each one of the Companions in turn placed the lighted candle, received from Jo on renewal of her commitment by Marie Madeleine's tomb.

All the members of the group actively participated in choosing the Music, Hymns, Readings/ poems and designs for the Order of Service. We were blessed in having Sr. Denise Mulcahy to provide organ accompaniment for the occasion and Sr. Kathryn Lennon to create the Beautiful Booklet from the suggestions given by the group.

After the service in Chapel there was a shared meal in the Stella Maris Dining Room. It was a very leisurely and joyous " breaking of bread " and a fitting ending to a most memorable event. Deep appreciation was shown the six newly Recommited Companions in Mission.

March 31 2007 — Tarija, Bolivia
Robert Cardozo, Santusa Tolaba de Cardozo, Gema Quinones de Anazgo, Wilson Anazgo, Andres Tejerina and Adelma Segovia renewed their commitment.

January 21, 2007 — Calgary, Canada

Companions in Mission in Calgary.

The Calgary group of Companions in Mission met on Sunday 21st January 2007 for their Renewal Ceremony. They are amazed to realise that they have been together now for four years! The five Companions, Sheila Lewrenz, Dolores D'Amour, Patricia Flores, Mary Lou Flaherty and Mary Robertson were received by Sr Imelda Toomey in place of Sr. Patricia Binchy, who is presently in South America . We congratulate these Companions in Mission and give thanks to God that each one has chosen to renew her commitment.

September 4, 2006 — Hartlepool, England
Companions in Mission in Hartlepool.On September 4, 2006 six Companions in Mission renewed their commitment in Hartlepool, England.

Let us remember in our prayers: Kath Barratt, Margaret Costello, Kitty Gillen, Stella Murray, Jean Taylerson, Mavis Reed, Betty Wilcox, and Mary Windram.

As with every group, there are FCJs who have journeyed faithfully with these companions and who continue to share companionship with them. A constant theme in the group meetings has been the recognition of God's gracious blessings.

The companions prepared all the liturgy with Sr Helen Bresnihan as well as the sacred space.


CiMs in North Carolina.June 3, 2006 — Durham, NC, USA

Floral arrangement in the chapel.

 

 

 

Congratulations to Martina Young, Pattie Steigerwald and Jo-Ann Burden who renewed commitment at Durham, North Carolina, USA on 3 June 2006.

As with every group, there are FCJs who have journeyed closely and faithfully through the time of formation and commitment with these groups and who will continue to share companionship with them; thank you!


Companions in Mission in Bruff. May 21, 2006 — Bruff, Ireland

Congratulations to those who made their commitment as Companions in Bruff, Ireland on 21 May 2006.

Left  to Right: Mary Dooley, Anne O’Sullivan, Mary Browne and Pat McElroy; in front:  Geraldine Lennon fcJ  and Helen Roberts

 

 

April 9, 2006 — Dublin, Ireland
Congratulations to Mary O'Connell and Maeve Kearney who made their commitment as Companions in Mission in Dublin at Balally on Sunday 9 April.

June 19, 2005 — Adelaide, Australia
Five Companions in Mission made commitment in Adelaide, South Australia. They are the third group of FCJ Companions in Mission in Australia.

One of the group, Molly Bates, writes: I recently made the commitment to become an FCJ Companion in Mission. I'd like to pass on to others what this means to me:

I hope with all this in mind I will be willing to take the next step of commitment.

June 12, 2005 — Toronto, Canada

June 12th, 2005 was a very special day for FCJs in Toronto as the Companions in Mission (Dovercourt) made their commitment for two years. Marcella, as facilitator of the programme, had met with Susan, Tomi and Molly each month over the course of two years.

The three companions in Mission and eighteen others, including Francisco and Carlos who had made their commitment earlier, assembled in our chapel/living room/dining room area. The commitment took place before Mass. Fr Bill Addley SJ presided at the Mass and in attendance was Fr Scott Lewis, SJ, a professor at Regis College.

Afterwards, with the help of Jane, Lois Anne and Mary we served a full dinner buffet. Cameras clicked for formal as well as informal picture-taking during the course of the afternoon.

 

June 11, 2005 — New England, USA

The Companions in Mission group in New England has five members. Three of these, Anne Carson, Jean Carson and David Spenser joined the group from connections they had with the Blessed Sacrament Parish FCJ Sisters and two, Jen Abbate and Ceilia Heredia, joined as a result of their connections with the St. Philomena Community. With great joy, these Companions made their commitment in the chapel at St. Philomena School in Portsmouth.

Three of the Companions are teachers: Jean teaches in Blessed Sacrament School, Jen and Cecilia teach at St. Philomena School. David is in administration at a Social Service Agency and Anne is retired. Cecilia was at the summer retreat in Calgary and was delighted to meet the other Companions in Mission as well as the many FCJ Sisters there. Cecilia is also in close contact with our FCJ Sisters in the Philippines, and visits them when she in in her homeland. The Companions often express deep appreciation for the chance to learn more about the FCJ Charism and way of life and for the opportunity of deepening their own spiritual life.

 

May, 2005 - Melbourne, Australia

On May 7th 2005, after two years' preparation, the second group of FCJ Companions in Mission in Melbourne made their commitment in the Genazzano College chapel, in the presence of FCJ Sisters, other Companions in Mission, and their families and friends.

It was a simple and meaningful ceremony, prepared by the Companions, in which they individually made their commitment: "For the next two years, I will live my companionship with Jesus through prayer, ministry and collaboration with the FCJ Sisters and other Companions in Mission." Sr. Barbara, our provincial leader, officially welcomed and accepted them as Companions in Mission and presented each one with a symbol of commitment.

This was an occasion for much joy and celebration as these Companions undertook to live the FCJ spirituality within the context of their own life-style. There is a strong bond of understanding, support and companionship among the group and they have commented on how their commitment as Companions in Mission has given a new focus and energy in their lives. At each monthly meeting, they share their apostolic activities which they say have been enriched by being done in the spirit of faithful companionship with Jesus and others. Recently they had input on Ecology and Spirituality.

Their daily work includes being:

These Companions in Mission meet with the other Companions at FCJ social and religious gatherings. They receive the FCJ publications, 'River of Life' and the Associates' letter.

 

March 30, 2005 — Reflection: Joyce Hildebrand, Companion in Mission, Calgary, Canada

Last week as I participated in the beautiful foot-washing ritual of Holy Thursday with the FCJ sisters, I felt great gratitude for the gift of "belonging" with these faithful companions. The words "I thirst," woven into the tapestry behind the altar in the chapel of the FCJ Centre, had a special resonance for me that evening.

Not only did I realize how integral they were to the Society's beginnings, but I knew that the lives of the women around me were motivated by a desire to respond to Jesus' words, heard again and again as people thirst for meaning, love, and justice.

Although my connection with FCJ sisters has been growing for twenty years, becoming a Companion in Mission has strengthened that connection in ways I would never have predicted. Last summer, I had the indescribable privilege of tending the beautiful gardens at the FCJ Christian Life Centre under Sister Ita's expert direction, digging, watering, weeding, pruning, and basking in the beauty of the green earth. Every day, I ate lunch with the sisters, getting to know them in a whole new way. Every day they welcomed me warmly, ignoring the "hat hair" and the dirt under my fingernails. Then, a few days after the Companions in Mission commitment ceremony on December 5, 2004, Sister Trish invited me to consider living and working with the FCJ sisters in Salta, Argentina during the summer of 2005. My heart leaned toward "yes" from the beginning, but I journalled, prayed, and sought direction from trusted companions for a month or so before making the decision. I sense God's smile on these plans, and I anticipate a challenging and enriching experience.

After joining the sisters for their powerful and moving Good Friday liturgy last week, I went home and read again Sister Patricia Grogan's fascinating account of the beginning and spread of the Society, God's Faithful Instrument. Marie Madeleine's gentle face looks down on me as I write, and I am deeply moved and inspired by the story of her courage, determination, and total surrender to God, despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles. After two-plus years of formation to become a Companion in Mission, I am becoming increasingly aware of the grace of being in formal relationship with this Society of women who follow her example of gentle service with such faithfulness. I hope and pray that my understanding and practice of companioning others will continue to deepen and that I will hear and respond with love to the "I thirst" of those around me.

Photos taken in May, 2004 in Sierra Leone. In the first picture are two of my travelling companions, Tony Heuver and Michael Duggan, with children of Freetown in an amputee camp in Freetown, Sierra Leone, which was established during the 11-year civil war, which ended in January 2001. The second and third pictures are FAWE Masons, a school just outside of Freetown, where young women are learning masonry. The school was established and is run by the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), a pan-African organization run entirely by Africans, most of whom are volunteers. The students built the wall behind them, including making the bricks. Most girls in Sierra Leone receive no formal education, due to poverty and the undervaluing of “girl-children”. FAWE's mandate is to educate girls and women, especially those who are disadvantaged.

 

22 March, 2005 — Broadstairs, England

During Holy Week , on 22nd March, 2005, the eight Companions in Mission in Broadstairs, England renewed their commitment for a further two years. They chose to make this renewal because they are attracted to living the FCJ way of life with its Ignatian roots and because they want to witness to Jesus in companionship in their daily lives.

Sr. Frances Kennedy, the International Coordinator of the Companions in Mission Programme, received their renewed commitment in a joyful celebration.


March 11, 2005 — Tarija, Bolivia

Nine prospective Companions in Mission in Tarija, Bolivia, gathered here in the FCJ Community house, first for a time of reflection and sharing with one another and with all present, FCJ novices, future postulants and all of the professed from Argentina and Bolivia, as well as Patricia, our Provincial. As always the sharing was very profound and inspiring.

This was followed by the beautiful ceremony of commitment which had been prepared by the six companions: Robert, Santusa, Gema, Wilson, Filomeno, Felisa, Andrés, Paula and Ada. Each one in turn stood before Patricia and pronounced his/her words of commitment, receiving from Patricia, their badge, prayer, words of welcome and acceptance by the Society.

Messages which had been sent from different parts of the Province, both from FCJs and other Companions in Mission were joyfully shared.

Our Parish priest came then to celebrate a Eucharist of thanksgiving for all. He entered wholeheartedly into the spirit of the day expressing in his homily his appreciation and joy at this moment of commitment of the companions. During the Offertory, many gifts were presented, symbols of the group, e.g. a world map symbolising the union of the group with other Companions in other parts of the world, the lives of Saint Ignatius and Marie Madeleine, symbolising the Society's roots, a Bible, a crucifix and a basket of food, showing the desire to share our goods with those less fortunate and finally the signed register of their commitment.

A the conclusion of the Eucharist, we proceeded to the home of Filomeno and Felisa, two companions who live in our barrio, a few doors from us, to share a delicious meal which had been prepared by all the companions, each contributing what he/she was able. This was a time of much joy and sharing, dancing, chatting and enjoying the meal.

 

Workshop for Companions in Mission Co-ordinators:

7 - 11 February, 2005: Stella Maris, Broadstairs, England

A group of thirteen sisters met with Katherine Mary and her Council at Stella Maris from 7 '“ 11 February 2005 to address the response to the General Chapter directive that we will "Work together for appropriate inclusion of our Companions in Mission" and to review together what has happened thus far and the resources available.

In her opening address, Katherine Mary welcomed the participants as a group representing all of our sisters who have been involved with Companions in Mission. Katherine retraced some of the developments which have happened since the 1998 General Chapter Pathways invited us to "Establish as a public expression of relationship with the Society of the Sisters, Faithful Companions of Jesus, a form of commitment for those who wish to be more closely associated with us in our mission."

In speaking of the form of commitment which the 1998 General Chapter envisaged, Katherine noted that the actual process involved in the formation time could be called a programme but what follows from it is really a way of life. She clarified what it means to "be associated with us in our mission" and noted that it is sometimes confused with being associated with us in our ministries. Ministry, she said, is an expression of mission and many of our Companions in Mission have their own outreach through the work that they do. If there is the opportunity for a companion to be involved in our FCJ ministries, we welcome this.

In the course of the meeting, we gave thanks that over the last four years or so, seventeen groups in all have been formed, thirty-nine people have made first commitment and fifty-eight more are at present in formation. A number of FCJs have been directly involved in the accompaniment of these Companions, some as leaders, others as input givers. We acknowledged that we have learned a lot as we have lived the process. We have had the great joy of sharing our spirituality and having companions who walk closely with us in our desire to be faithful to the vision of Marie Madeleine.

Our meeting together gave the opportunity for sharing of resources, approaches and experiences. A wide range of topics was considered, some for clarification and others for further consideration or for signalling a process to carry forward what needs to be done.

In her concluding words, Katherine Mary in reflecting on the past few years, quoted from a poem, "the Gift" by Brendan Kennelly where he talks about a gift which

"'¦.came slowly.
Afraid of insufficient self-content
Or some inherent weakness in itself
Small and hesitant
Like children at the tops of stairs'¦."

The poem concludes "It was a gift that took me unawares and I accepted it!"

Katherine Mary spoke for us in affirming her belief that we have seen the potential in this gift that Companions in Mission are to our Society and to God's mission.

 

January 30, 2005 — Toronto, Canada

Celebration of the first commitment of Francisco Rico-Martinez, his wife Loly Rico, and Carlos Sebastian as Companions in Mission: Shirley and Lois Anne had accompanied them during their formation program and rejoiced with them in this day. Francisco, Loly and Carlos joined the Toronto FCJs in the afternoon of the reflection gathering for the end of the Visitation. It was like a mini-retreat before they made their commitment. We re-assembled at Brunswick house at 5pm for the ceremony.

The FCJs were joined by Francisco and Loly's children and their friends, as well as two Jesuit scholastics who volunteer at FCJ Hamilton House, two of the staff and three of the Companions in formation in another group in Toronto. This made a full living room.

The ceremony opened with a Spanish hymn: Pescador de Hombres. The opening and closing prayer/reflection were excerpts taken from the letters the Companions had written to Trish asking to make commitment. They expressed how they saw their own call reflected in the "I thirst" of Marie Madeleine and how they are living that out in their present ministry. They chose the Emmaus story and the selection from the life of Marie Madeleine recounting how she heard the words "I thirst". After the readings there was sharing from both the Companions and the guests.

Since all three are Spanish-speaking, they chose to make their commitment in Spanish. Trish also gave her response in Spanish. After they received their badge, they lit a candle in the sacred space. For the greeting of peace Francisco encouraged us to bring to our circle of peace any person who had been instrumental in our journey of commitment to justice and peace. After that we had a big hug-in.

The closing hymn was the Society Magnificat, which we sang with the help of the CD from the Irish schools. Some of our guests had supplemented what Jane and Cindy had prepared for supper, which we ate while enjoying each other's company. Thank God for the opportunity we have to share our charism with those who are attracted to it.

 

December 5th, 2004 — Calgary, Canada

Six Companions in Mission in Calgary, Canada made their two-year commitment: Dolores D'Amour, Mary Lou Flaherty, Patty Flores, Joyce Hildebrand, Sheila Lewrenz and Mary Robertson.

Ita Connery fcJ has been journeying with these Companions as coordinator for the past two years.

Sr. Trish Binchy, Provincial Leader, received their commitment and welcomed the new companions on behalf of the Society.

The commitment took place in a joyful celebration with FCJs and family members.

     

 

July 5, 2004 — Durham, USA

On 5 July 2004 in a quiet family ceremony, JoAnn Burden, Pattie Ryan and Martina Young made their commitment as Companions in Mission in Durham, North Carolina. Sr. Trish Binchy, the provincial of the Province of the Americas, received their commitment. The ceremony was held in JoAnn's home and reminded one of the early faith communities of the first century church. The companions were supported in their commitment by Carmel Hamilton, Joanna Walsh, Ellen McCarthy, Trish Binchy and many members of their families and some friends.

Companions in Mission - North Carolina.

 

June 18, 2004 — Hartlepool, England

The 8 Companions in Mission who journeyed together for nearly two years made their commitment on June 18th, 2004, the Feast of the Sacred Heart. The ceremony was in the Convent chapel at no. 57. Our FCJ Sisters from Hartlepool, Middlesborough, and Crook were present and the provincial Jo Grainger.

After the ceremony we all enjoyed tea in our dining room, eating Sr. Rosa's (Hawkins) delicious scones. To the utter amazement of the Companions, there were lots of congratulatory cards from our Sisters all over the Society. "And they don't even know us" they exclaimed. We now meet as a group every month in the FCJ house at 55 Hutton Avenue to strengthen one another in every way and to share resources, as well as to have a good time.

 

November 29, 2003 — Tuscaloosa, USA

Ellen, Joanna and Carmel, FCJ Sisters from North Carolina. drove to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to celebrate Thanksgiving and be present for the Companions in Mission commitment ceremony on the following Saturday.

Sr. Susan fcJ, our provincial, was present to receive the commitments of the new member.

It was wonderful to see the sincerity and joy of the Companions, especially when they told the story of why they decided to stay with the Program. Dawn and Bill's two little boys were obviously delighted to have roles in the ceremony, and they carried them out with great diligence.

 

May 3, 2003 — Melbourne, Australia

A second group of Companions in Mission make commitment, this time in South Melbourne, in the Province of Asia-Australia. Sr. Barbara Brown-Graham receives their commitments individually.

Group of Australian CiMs.

 

24 November, 2002 - Broadstairs, England

A group of eight Companions in Mission, the first in the Society, were received at Stella Maris Convent in the British Province.
First CiMs at Stella Maris.

January 2, 2001

The Companions in Mission programme was officially launched in the Society. Bonnie Moser fcJ was appointed first international coordinator and a programme of preparation for commitment was made available.