“BE PROPHETS OF JOY AND HOPE” (Pope Francis)
Over the past few months the Sister Disciples of the Australian Delegation have been involved in some very memorable events.
9th General Chapter
During the month of May, Sr M. Christine participated at the 9th General Chapter which was held in Rome. The theme of the Chapter was “ New Wine in New Wineskins” Fifty three Delegates, representing the thirty one countries where the Sister Disciples are present around the world, gathered for this great event in order to deal with the many questions and topics pertaining to the life and mission of the Congregation. The main themes which were held as priorities were: the Mission – Proclamation to new frontiers; Redesigning; Justice and Peace; Vocation promotion, and youth accompaniment and also Fraternal life as prophecy of joy and hope. The sisters guided by these orientations are called to activate processes in order to respond to the challenges and hopes of the Church and world of to-day. During the Chapter our new Superior General, Sr.M.Micaela Monetti and her councillors were elected. The group showed great appreciation towards our former Superior General, Sr.M.Regina Cessarato and her team for the wonderful service which they generously gave over the past years.
Living and working together with this international group of Sister Disciples was indeed a wonderful and unique experience. United in this diversity we formed a truly joyful and vibrant community. Most of the time we were engaged in intense discerning and evaluating of the numerous issues pertaining to the life of our Congregation, however we did have a few days where we were able to relax and enjoy visiting some beautiful places in Italy. The trip to Subiaco, where St Benedict founded the Benedictines and the nearby monastery where St Scholastica resided, was an unforgettable experience. So too was the visit to Nettuno where in the Basilica of Our Lady of Grace is kept the body of St. Maria Goretti. Without doubt the most memorable event for the Chapter members was the private audience which we had with Pope Francis who gave a truly inspirational speech and warmly greeted each one individually.
All the sisters of the Australian Delegation came together at the Strathfield Divine Master house for the Delegation Assembly. The Assembly commenced, on the great feast of Mary’s Assumption with a beautiful Eucharistic Celebration presided by Fr.Michael SSP.
The two days of the Assembly were very intense as there was a lot of information regarding the 9th General Chapter’s deliberations and orientations to be transmitted in a relatively short amount of time. The input given by Sr Christine was received by the sisters with great interest and openness. Everyone also enthusiastically participated in the discussions and sharing. We all worked together in co-responsibility and with a willingness to respond to what the Lord is calling us to do in our Delegation especially for the Church and people of Australia. In this journey of communion we are certain that the Holy Spirit will guide us and that Jesus Master, Mary Queen of the Apostle and St. Paul the Apostle together with our Pauline saints will accompany and assist us to fulfil the General Objective of the Chapter: “Allow the new life, which is the fruit of the Paschal Mystery Experience, to flow in us that our presence may be qualified and that the joy of the Gospel may renew the world.”