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Discerning new leadership I ...

Thank you for joining with us in prayer as we try to be open to the Spirit's leading in the choice of a new general superior and general assistants. Your messages of support and your prayer are much appreciated.

Come Holy Spirit written in the nine languages used in the Society.

On Sunday morning, we began the process of discernment with a
Prayer of Thanksgiving and Blessing for our current General Leadership

O God of many names,
we know you in a million ways
through all of your creation
and through your spirit-gifts within us.
We come before you this evening,
to thank you, and praise you,
for all the gifts of Katherine Mary, Frances, Paula and Susan,
and for the gifts that they have been for us.
We pray for them, as they enter another phase of their journey,
and we ask you to answer their longing for you
and their deepest desires.
Gift them, Lord, with the courage and energy
they need at this moment of their lives.

Blessing ritual at the beginning of the discernment.

Blessing ritual at the begining of the discernment.

On Sunday we began as usual with faith sharing ...

The day began with faith sharing in consensus groups. The reading Lk 18:1-8 was a reminder that God is faithful to those who pray longingly for justice.

The rest of the day was given to retreat during which we reflected on those parts of the Constitutions which outline the qualities of the General Superior and General Assistants.

Beautiful grounds in which to reflect.

What our FCJ Constitutions Part 9 have to say about
The Qualities of the Superior General

294. In regard to the qualities desirable in the superior general, the first is that she should be closely united with God our Lord and intimate with him in prayer and all her actions that, from God, the fountain of all good, she may so much the better obtain for the whole body of the Society a large share of his gifts and graces, and also great power and efficacy for all the means used for its apostolic mission.

295. The second quality is that she should be a person whose example in the practice of all the virtues is a help to the other members of the Society.  Charity should be especially resplendent in her, towards all people but above all towards members of the Society who should regard her as a mirror and model; genuine humility, too, should shine forth that these characteristics may make her highly lovable to God our Lord and to all people.

296. She should be free from inordinate affections keeping them controlled and mortified so that interiorly they may not disturb the judgment, and exteriorly she may be so composed, particularly in speaking, that no one may observe in her anything or any word which does not edify.              

297. However, she should know how to mingle rectitude and necessary firmness with kindness and gentleness to such an extent that she neither swerves from what she judges more pleasing to God our Lord, nor ceases to have proper sympathy for her daughters.  Thus, although they may be reprimanded or even though it is against their liking, they will recognize that she is proceeding rightly in our Lord and with charity.  

298. Magnanimity and fortitude of soul are highly necessary to bear the burdens of many, to initiate great undertakings in the service of God our Lord, and to persevere in them with constancy when it is called for, without losing courage in the face of the contradictions and without allowing herself to be moved by entreaties or threats from that which reason and the divine service require.  She should not be exalted by success nor depressed by adversity, being altogether ready to receive death, if necessary, for the good of the Society in the service of Jesus Christ, God and our Lord.

299. The third quality is that she should have great understanding and judgment, although learning is highly necessary for her, still more necessary is prudence along with experience in interior and spiritual matters, so that she may be able to discern the various spirits and give counsel and help to those who have spiritual needs.  She also needs discretion in exterior matters and a manner of handling such diverse affairs as well as of conversing with such various persons from within and without the Society.

300. The fourth quality, one highly necessary for the execution of business, is that she should be vigilant and solicitous to undertake enterprises as well as energetic in carrying them through to their completion and perfection, rather than careless and remiss in such a way that she leaves them begun but not finished. 

301. The fifth quality refers to her health and age.  Account should be taken of the physical energies which her charge requires so that she may be able to fulfil her office to the glory of God our Lord.  Thus it seems she should not be too old to sustain the labours and cares of such a charge nor too young and so lack prestige and necessary experience.  To be eligible for this position therefore, a sister must have been perpetually professed for at least ten years.  

302. The sixth quality pertains to extrinsic gifts which are worthy of some consideration, other things being equal, in as far as they help more towards edification and the service of God in such a charge.  But even if they are lacking, there are other considerations more important which would suffice for election.   

303. Finally, she ought to be one of those who are most outstanding in every virtue and whose worth has been known in the Society for a considerable time.  Should any of the qualities already mentioned be lacking, there should at least be no lack of great integrity and love of the Society, nor of good judgment accompanied by sound learning.  Those who aid her in government can, through God's help and favour, supply to a great extent for many deficiencies.

In the evening we had a celebration to honour and thank our present leadership.

Gathering for the social.

Gathering for the social.

Eileen fcJ thanks Katherine Mary fcJ.

Paula, Susan and Frances are thanked by Rita, Denise and Ann Marie.