Unification of the Two Brazilian Provinces
August 15, 2022
For several years the Sisters of the two Brazilian Provinces had been discussing the urgent necessity of developing a process to consolidate the provinces. However, the dream remained dormant until the interprovincial meeting, in December 2020, when it was decided, to begin the project and initiate steps to put it into action. One of the objectives was “To unite human forces, guarantee the mission in a conscious process and bring the Sisters together to embrace the process with tranquility and confidence.”
Based on this decision, after a meeting with the Sisters from both Provinces, a Steering Committee was created. This Committee organized working groups that would start the Unification process, with the support of an outside facilitator. Currently, the Sisters speak more naturally about the Unification of the Provinces and their committed involvement in the different working groups is clearly visible.
The motto chosen for the Unification process which set the direction for the journeying together was: “Whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing” (Phil 3,16); and the challenge “Committed to a common mission, we walk together in hope” (Planning Seminar, 1978). Through meetings online, the working groups are continuously sharing the outcome of their work with all the Sisters, a practice that everyone appreciates. Today, conversations concerning the topic of Unification take place with more confidence and with greater ease.
In addition to the working groups, which address specific areas, the sisters continue to participate in activities designed to further integrate the two Provinces such as retreats, meetings, celebrations, formation of the lay collaborators, meetings of the two administration teams, common prayer, and correspondence.
Yes, the sisters in Brazil are on a journey but are still far from achieving the dream of Unification. There is still a need for consensus on minor issues that differentiate the two provinces and upon which there is a need to reach an agreement.