Preparation for Final Vows in an Inter-Assumption setting
From the 22nd to the 23rd of June, the young sisters preparing for their final vows from three Assumption congregations (Religious, Oblates, Little Sisters) received the opportunity to have an inter-Assumption experience.
The meeting was broadened by the presence of the Augustinian Sisters of Notre-Dame de Paris, who have the project of a fusion with the Religious of the Assumption, and the Missionary Sisters of Capetown. It was a wonderful time of getting to know one another, of friendship and a sisterly atmosphere. The first day was devoted to discovering our respective history: the history of our personal vocation, of our congregations and the relations between our founders at the beginning of our congregations.
After the sharing on the history of our personal vocation, we received as good news the fact that the vocation of each one is a gift of God and that it is unique. Our ‘yes’ to following Christ is a source of joy for us and for those around us. Similarly, we are convinced that our charisms are treasures for our religious families, for the church and for the world. Indeed, each congregation there tried to present its charism creatively, something that we greatly appreciated. We were able to distinguish what was specific to each one and the elements we have in common. In that diversity, we can see that there is complementarity for the extension of the Reign of God.
At the end of the day, Sister Thérèse Maylis told us something of what our founders had experienced together at the beginning of our Congregations. We were touched by the bond of friendship and the mutual help, human and spiritual, that was given. We saw that, even in the difficulties, God was working to bring about new energy.
The second day consisted in looking deeply at the three poles of our religious life: prayer life, community life and apostolic life. Each theme was worked on by two different groups. Each group was invited to draw from it: convictions, joys, transformations, but also questions that we have. As a conviction, we recognized unanimously that prayer is a strength, a source of life and of joy for our consecrated life and for our mission. We are also aware of the presence of God that transforms us and opens us to a sisterly life. All of us, we said that the community is the first place of mission and is a school of love. Our differences that become richness and complementarity strengthen the family spirit.
Prayer also had an important place during that meeting. Indeed, the session began with an opening prayer during which each one was invited to say her name and then to write it on a hand or a foot that she chose as a symbol of her yes to following Christ.
The session closed with a beautiful Eucharisitic celebration at which Fr Nicolas Poteau, Assumptionist, presided. The gospel chosen for the occasion was that of the salt and the light; and so these symbols were given to us to make us more aware of our mission to bear witness in today’s world. Finally, an inter-cultural and festive meal strengthened our sisterly bonds; we were able to relish to the full the spirit of the Assumption family.
We express our deep thanks to those in charge who had that fine idea of the inter-Assumption session at this important stage of our life. Our wish is that there be more meetings like this so that all may get to know one another better. In that way we can see better how to work together for the extension of the Reign.
Srs Jacqueline Pagnangde RA,
Germaine Musakata LSA, Anne Dung OA