Today's Holy Mass was celebrated by Fr. Józef Lasak, SAC, Vice General and Secretary for Formation. In his homily he pointed to the path of Jesus, who through the Passover (Pascha) led us from the Old to the New Covenant, making our hearts a true temple - a place of encounter with God. The lesson we take from today's Gospel is the need to purify our hearts, to convert them in order to worthily receive the gift that is God Himself. The day was dedicated to the discernment of the process of reunification with the Roman Pallottine Sisters (CSAC).
The morning session was attended by Sisters who belong to the CSAC leadership team: Sr. Ivete Garlet, Superior General, Sr. Venicia Meurer, Vicar General, Sr. Stella Marota and Sr. Helena Pimenta, General Councillors, and Sr. Vittorina D'Imperio, Provincial Superior of the Italian Province. The title of Sr. Ivete’s reflection was: “The Pallottine Charism in the Process of Reunification and the Response to the Needs of the Church and the World.” Starting from the inspiration of St. Vincent Pallotti on January 9th, 1835, Sr. Ivete presented the Pallottine charism as a gift of the Holy Spirit. As such it is our inheritance for which we are responsible before the Church and the world. The prayer of Jesus “that all may be one,” became Pallotti’s own personal desire. The journey of discernment concerning our reunification is part of this desire. Pallotti, Sr. Ivete said, is a model and teacher of communion and collaboration, which for him are not only a method of working effectively, but first of all an imitation of God in the Trinity.
Sister Izabela Świerad, SAC, Superior General, presented a PowerPoint presentation on the history of both Congregations. “Talking about history,” Sr. Izabela quoted Pope Francis, “is giving glory to God.” We remembered the beginnings of the Congregation in Rome, the departure of the Sisters to Limburg, the opening of the mission in Cameroon, and important events in the life of both Congregations; we saw a gallery of Superiors General throughout history and the dates of the opening of now missions, some of which later became provinces.
Sister Vittorina presented the history and work of the Commission for Reunification “Bridge of Unity,” which consists of Sisters of both Congregations headed by the Superiors General. The activities of the commission were aimed at getting to know each other better, coordinating the sub-commissions in the provinces, reflecting on what we have in common and on what makes us different.
Sr. Liberata Niyongira, SAC, General Councillor, presented the activities of the two General Councils in the process of discernment during the years 2016-2021: Important joint meetings, reunions as parts of our continental meetings or Central Assemblies in Tanzania, in Rome and in Poland, which were also attended by Sisters from our various communities, correspondence between the two Superiors General, joint celebrations of the Solemnity of Pentecost, formation meetings, meetings of the Commission for Unification “Bridge of Unity,” etc.
We dedicated the afternoon to an open discussion on the reunification process, partly in the plenary, partly in groups. We expressed pros and cons, we shared fears, concerns and challenges, as well as hopes and desires for a closer collaboration and a better mutual knowledge. In his final words, Fr. Martin appreciated our open sharing and our respectful way of listening to one another.
We concluded our work of this day with Vespers and adoration in the chapel of the Procura.