Provincial Superior's Circular no. 2
Circular n. 2
February 14, 2017
May God’s Love poured on our hearts by the Holy Spirit continue to permeate our lives and relationships!
As we enter the month of February we start the series of annual formative sessions and spiritual exercises centered on the theme “Missionary Discipleship,” which specific objective is to ‘rekindle the missionary spirit, with attention to the signs of the times and to the recipients of our mission.’ Year after year, we beg the Lord for the gift of continual conversion, convinced that the first to be evangelized and converted are ourselves. Only when this conversion happens will we be ready to do what is asked of us, to risk everything for the mission and to stop asking whether we are ready or not. We gain the courage to go where we are sent, NOT because we have security in ourselves but because we know that JESUS MASTER sends us and walks with us.
I am certain that by now, all of us understand that commitment to the mission is nothing but an expression of our love for Jesus Master and our desire to follow him. As disciples OF Jesus Master, we do not belong to ourselves anymore, but we belong to Him and to those whom he wants us to encounter. On March 1, we begin the Lenten journey with the commemoration of Ash Wednesday. In the Lenten message of Pope Francis this year, entitled ‘The Word is a Gift, Other Persons are a Gift,’ he reminds us: “Lent is a favourable season for deepening our spiritual life through the means of sanctification offered us by the Church: fasting, prayer and almsgiving. At the basis of everything is the Word of God, which during this season we are invited to hear and ponder more deeply.” He then proceeds by highlighting a Gospel passage namely, the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (cf. Lk 16:19-31), to inspire us in the path of sincere conversion. Pope Francis makes this direct appeal, reflecting on said scriptural passage: “Lazarus teaches us that other persons are a gift. A right relationship with people consists in gratefully recognizing their value. Even the poor person at the door of the rich is not a nuisance, but a summons to conversion and to change. The parable first invites us to open the doors of our heart to others because each person is a gift, whether it be our neighbour or an anonymous pauper. Lent is a favourable season for opening the doors to all those in need and recognizing in them the face of Christ. Each of us meets people like this every day. Each life that we encounter is a gift deserving acceptance, respect and love. The word of God helps us to open our eyes to welcome and love life, especially when it is weak and vulnerable.” (see attachment for the full text of the Pope’s Lenten Message 2017)
As we plan our Lenten program in our different communities, let us consider seriously this exhortation of our Pope, especially his call to rediscover the gift of God’s word, be purified of the sin that blinds us, and serve Christ present in our brothers and sisters in need. For the funds that we shall gather from our acts of fasting in this season of Lent, we will direct them to our needy sisters and brothers affected by the natural disasters in our country and elsewhere.
We also continue to be united with the whole Congregation in this time of immediate preparation for the 9th General Chapter. Sr. M. Regina Cesarato, our Superior General, exhorts us to please remember this intention as we pray together the Invocation to the Holy Spirit and the Secret of Success daily.
Assuring you of my prayers, especially for the sisters who are tried in body and spirit, and counting also on the prayers of each one, I greet you all withlove, in Jesus Master,
Sr. M. Gemma Victorino pddm