Summer in Spain can be really hot; however, last week brought a real whiff of fresh air! For five days (3rd-8th August), the little town Cercedilla, about 60 km northwest of Madrid, hosted an international European group of 19 younger members of the Institute and Fraternity from France, Spain, Italy, England, Ireland and Czech Republic.
The main aim of the meeting was to get to know each other better so that in the future we could support each other and together we would be able to take responsibility for shaping a new Europe. Religious life in Europe is changing. This could be a threat. But at the same time it can be an opportunity. Like our first sisters, we want to embrace the uncertainty and let the Holy Spirit be our guide in this life adventure. Therefore the theme of the meeting was “Discernment as a way of life”.
Though the space of four full days could seem to be limited, a lot happened during this period. There really was a time for everything: for theoretical inputs, for sharing about our life and mission, for prayer, for visiting the city of Avila, as well as for laughing, singing and dancing. With the help of our excellent facilitator, Gemma Simmonds CJ, and our translators, we were able to suggest and make individual commitments to some concrete steps that might help us to keep this promising seed vital and growing.
A big thank you to the Spanish sisters for their generous welcome, to all who enabled this wonderful opportunity to happen, and most of all, a big thank you to the Lord who invited us on this journey and faithfully leads us towards life in all its fullness!
Back row L – R: Maria Mazzotta, Gemma Simmonds, Josette Veron, Marina Motta, Catarina Dolci, Pilar Tarazaga, Romina Perotta, Maria Angeles Majado, Daniela Bazzani, Carmen Lazaro, Anna Maria Florio, Veronika Reháková.
Middle row L – R: Tiziana Massnada, Mary Joy Langdon, Kitty Ellard.
Front row L – R: Anna Passinetti, Patricia Schmidt, Gloria Vignote, Angèle d’Angelo, Maite Valdivieso, Klára Maliňáková.