From the Young Consecrated SNDs, Rome, Italy
September 25, 2015
We, the young face of Notre Dame who represented nine provinces of our International Congregation express our heartfelt gratitude to Sr. Mary Kristin and the General Council for giving us this wonderful opportunity to participate in the World Meeting for Young Consecrated Men and Women in Rome. It began with a prayer vigil on September 15 and concluded with a thanksgiving Eucharistic celebration at St. Peter’s Basilica on September 19, 2015. There were about 5000 participants from 500 Institutes and 125 countries.
Some of the significant activities were:
- Listening and reflection on the themes: Vocation, Fraternal Life and Mission
- Participants’ questions
- Meeting with the Holy Father
- Workshops in linguistic groups to share the fruits of the morning reflections
- Celebration of the Eucharist
- Evangelization and witnessing by young people in Vatican City and Rome.
Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and Archbishop José Rodriguez Carballo, OFM, Secretary, coordinated the program. Cardinal Braz de Aviz told us to listen “with the hearts of sons and daughters to the Word of God, always secure and illuminating, especially if we strive to live it in our days.” The meeting with Pope Francis was life giving and highly energizing. The Holy Father, responding to questions we had asked him, told us not to lose the impetus of our original vocation – the “fire in the belly”. He also warned us that “gossip is the plague of community life” he compared the gossiping person in religious life to a terrorist who throws a bomb into the midst of the community.
During a concluding ritual by Sister Mary Kristin in the Motherhouse, some of us expressed our experience in the following statements:
The theme of our gathering was Wake up the World” says Sr. Mary Supriya from Patna, India, “I need Jesus to wake up the world thus I realize the need to become a Christ centered person.”
The world today needs the sign of communion and fraternity. These days spent together have helped me to come to know sisters from all over the world. I renewed my desire to be a sister to others and live in fraternity” Sr. Ethel Maria from Coesfeld, Germany.
I saw the beauty and enthusiasm of the “new vine” in our universal church. It has opened my mind and heart to become a joyful witness of the Gospel” Sr. Maria Bertin from Indonesia.
I am grateful for the opportunity to visit many holy places during our pilgrimage. Walking on the pathways of saints and martyrs has increased my faith.” Sr. Mary Sangeeta, Bangalore, India.
The Holy Father Pope Francis calls the religious sisters to be the icon of Mary in the Church. He reminded us to practice our spiritual motherhood and bring the joy of Christ to the world” Sr. Maria Cristina from Passo Fundo, Brazil.
I felt like clay in the hands of the Lord to be formed and molded,” said Sr. Mary Monica who belongs to the Patna Province in India.
It has been the most wonderful experience for me to meet the young men and women religious from alI over the world who adored and praised God together. I felt strengthened in spirit when we all celebrated the Holy Mass together” Sr. Maria Emmanuel from Vietnam.
The meeting with Pope Francis was heartwarming and his message to young religious was to become adorers of Christ. I feel blessed and energized to continue my consecrated life in Notre Dame”. Sr. Maria Michael, China.
My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in Him my savior. I am grateful to God to be part of our International Congregation and to experience the universality of the mother church” Sr. Mary Sunday, Uganda.
I feel delighted and fortunate to be called by the Lord to follow Him in Notre Dame.” Sr. Mary Margaret, Tanzania.
In the Audience Hall I could imagine one puzzle picture that has more than 5000 pieces made by God. I was a little piece in it to make the picture complete that God wanted to show to His people”. Sr. Maria Hwan-Hee, Incheon, Korea.
I felt energized spending time and sharing with many other Religious men and women from around the world. We were one in heart, mind and spirit which will continue to energize us as we travel back to our home countries and continue living our lives in Jesus” says Sr. Angela Marie, Chardon, USA.
I was inspired and challenged by the responses to our questions from Pope Francis, Cardinal Aviz and other resource persons,” says Sr. Maria Lenimar, Canoas, Brazil.
We express our sincere thanks to Sr. Linda Marie and the Motherhouse community for their warm welcome and hospitality.