A Historic Meeting at the Kairos Centre, Roehampton, London
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.
Companions in Mission are women and women who make a public commitment to live,
within the context of their daily lives, the charism and spirituality of the Faithful Companions of Jesus.
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.’
Read more about the Companions in Mission here.