General Visitation: Province of the Americas - 31 January to April 8, 2012
Sister Katherine Mary fcJ and Sister Susan fcJ visited the Province of the Americas from February 1st to April 8th, 2012. The theme of their visit was:
Beyond the open door our attention is drawn to great gatherings of people. (GC 2008)
They arrived in Salta, Argentina on the January 31st and stayed until February 8th. There was time for group meetings and a lovely day out at a mountain area called La Caldera. The group of Companions in Mission in formation had a chance to meet with the visitors on the 5th. That same evening we welcomed Bonnie, our new provincial, on her first visit to South America. We were grateful for our leaders’ gentle and wise presence, and their sharing briefly our life here. We took them to our ministry places, especially CAM Martin de Porres, Fey Alegría School, the Catholic University and of course our parish. It was a grace-filled time.
Next the visitors went to Alabama and then Durham where one sister commented ‘it was good to be reminded, in a very immediate way, of the "bigger picture" of the whole Society.’
Travelling further north but still on the eastern side of the continent, Susan and Katherine visited the Sisters in Toronto and New England.
In early March, all the FCJs from the Eastern side of North America gathered in St. Philomena’s School, Portsmouth, RI. Gathering with a larger group of FCJs and sharing life with them in a larger context was a joyful experience. Katherine Mary and Susan led the group in an interesting and productive process on Saturday; there was every opportunity to share in table groups as well as impromptu comings together in between times. The atmosphere was genial and relaxed with an underlying sense of the goodness of being together, sharing the same Charism of Marie Madeleine.
Following this gathering, Katherine Mary and Susan travelled to Prince George where they met with two sisters there. It was a graced and enjoyable time, during which they were able to visit the Bishop, Gerald Wiesner, OMI.
The visit continued in Edmonton and then Calgary.
A day long gathering of FCJs in the Western part of the Province took place April 1st, Palm Sunday. The large and small group sharing and the various times together strengthened our bonds and helped us catch up with news of the various communities.
But there was still more to be done … time with local leaders, a day with the Provincial Council and of course time with Bonnie, our still relatively new Provincial. The visitation had given Bonnie a ‘crash course’ in ‘who’ and ‘where’ we are in the Province.
Our visitors were with us for the remainder of Holy Week and it was a blessing to celebrate Holy Thursday with them.
We were grateful for Katherine Mary and Susan’s gentle presence, availability and caring and listening hearts during their time with us. Thank you, Katherine Mary and Susan.