November 1, 2010
The Opening of the 12th Chapter of the Sisters of Notre Dame
The opening liturgy for the 12th chapter of the Sisters of Notre Dame took place on Monday, November 1, 2010. It was a beautiful celebration of the diversity of the Sisters of Notre Dame united in one mission. Two sisters led the opening procession with liturgical movement to the song Into Our Hearts, O Spirit, Come. They were followed by Sister Mary Sujita carrying the Paschal candle, Sr. Mary Frances carrying the Coesfeld crucifix, and other sisters carrying the flags of the many countries in which the sisters serve.
The Korean sisters sang the responsorial psalm and the congregation sang hymns in English, German, and Portuguese. The sisters from India performed the lovely Arati at the “Amen.”
Rev.Antonio Pernia, SVD, the presider for the opening liturgy, said that All Saints Day reminds us that we are in communion with all of the saints including Sr. Maria Aloysia and Sr. Maria Ignatia as we begin the Chapter. During the homily, Fr. Pernia pointed out that the spirit of the Beatitudes proclaimed in the Gospel for the day is a spirit of joyful simplicity—a spirit much needed in today’s world. The global mission that we undertake is a prophetic mission carried out in joyful simplicity and it has three characteristics: 1) contemplation to look and listen deeply, being fully present to the people; 2) powerlessness expressed in solidarity with the poor and marginalized; and 3) stewardship in which we are servants of God’s mission and his people. He said that we are called to respect the freedom of God to be present as he pleases and the freedom of the people to respond to God as they are able. The gospel, he said, is only ours as a gift to share. The mission, first and always, belongs to God.
After lunch, Sr. Mary Sujita and various members of the chapter planning and steering committees lead the chapter members in a thorough orientation. They introduced the audio equipment to be used for simultaneous translation and the devices for electronic voting. They also covered logistics of every kind (rooms, phones, schedules, discussion groups, etc.).
At the end of the day, Sr. Mary Sujita presented her opening address in which she situated the chapter theme, Rooted in contemplation, Called to be prophetic women, Missioned for global transformation, in the realities of today’s world, the Church and religious life, with all its challenges and opportunities. You can read the full text of Sr. Mary Sujita’s talk by [clicking on this link].
You are invited to share in this chapter pilgrimage by participating in the Sisters’ Forum discussion area also in the reserved section of the website. The first discussion question is: What word, phrase or sentence in Sr. Mary Sujita’s opening talk inspires or challenges you and why? Please take a moment to read the Guidelines for Participating in the Forum by clicking here.
After you have read the Guidelines, click on this link to enter the Sisters’ Forum discussion area. Choose your language and post your response. Be sure to sign your name, province and country.
Sr. Susan Wolf, SND
Chardon, Ohio, USA