The banner for the website of the FCJ Province of Europe shows a vivid mosaic in which disparate pieces of coloured glass are transformed into a thing of beauty.
The colours, reminiscent of the rainbow of hope, mirror the glowing brightness as well as the delicate subtlety of the natural environment to be found in the varied countries of Europe – the blues of seas and lakes, the whites and purples and greys of mountains, the greens of fields and foliage, the reds and golds and oranges of fruits and flowers. And the distinctive colours of national flags and emblems have their place there too.
The banner represents the union of the FCJs who live and work in the wonderful cultural mix that is Europe, and it reflects the different European cultures by clustering similar colours. The intention is not to merge the sisters into a uniform culture, in which the rich variety of languages and customs would disappear without trace. Instead, the province welcomes the diversity of cultures among the sisters, and actively cultivates a truly Christian and genuinely European vision.
The ‘tesserae’ of the mosaic, the individual cells (no two are identical), symbolise organic growth and new life. They stand for the FCJ sisters who live and work in eight different European countries. Some sisters come from a further three countries, so Belgium, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Jersey, Malta, Romania, Scotland, Switzerland and Wales will all have their place in the new province.
The stars recall the Flag of Europe with its emphasis on unity and completeness, as well as its scriptural inspiration: ‘a woman wearing a diadem of twelve stars’ (Revelation 12:1). They also remind the sisters of the words of Teilhard de Chardin:
leading to the best of the unknown’.