Joined Together in the Mission of Charity

Day 5: Creating a Shared Future — Now is the Time

Daily update: June 17, 2018

Kathy Byrnes, SCNY opened the meeting at 9:00 a.m. and introduced Joan Cook, SCC who pointed out the brochure prepared by the staff at Seton Shrine in Emmitsburg, MD. They have asked two questions of the pilgrims to the shrine: What attracts you to Elizabeth Seton? What attracts you to the shrine? The brochure covers biographical information about Elizabeth Ann Seton, so that visitors can connect more strongly to her.

On behalf of the entire Federation, S. Joan expressed gratitude to Grace Hartzog, SCSH for all that she does throughout the year, including the annual meeting, to keep the work of the Federation moving smoothly.

Pat Wilson, SCH led the Federation in prayer and faith-sharing on unstoppable charity.

Florence Hee, OSF introduced a period of table sharing in order to articulate the highlights of the meeting to be brought home in order to continue conversation with leadership team. Also, the communicators have been receiving daily updates and photographs of all that has been happening; how will you continue conversation with your members upon your return? Following the table conversation, one person from each table shared their conversation:

  • An openness and willingness to share more deeply and to interact; a commitment to share with our communities by sharing the prayer reflections
  • Perhaps this will lead to regional congregations working more closely
  • The palpable sense of solidarity gives us an increased power “to do.” Would like to hear more stories of the congregations. Look forward to increased use of audiovisual technology.
  • Communication to members about the Federation committees and how we can support their work. Sharing about the ministries of the congregations of the Federation. Perhaps each month pray for the intention of each member congregation.
  • Share some of the actions/concepts articulated on Saturday with the congregations. Share the work of the NGOs. Sharing of personnel resources, especially materials developed about Laudato Si’. Video clips and songs “popped the prayers.”
  • Keep the conversation alive in our congregations. Letting go permits letting come.
  • Trusting in Providence and choosing life for others, not ourselves. Regarding the Federation’s statement on immigration, should we pay for an ad in a national newspaper, so the public knows what we value, what is important to us especially at this critical time of separation of families?
  • Need to extend an appreciation for the relevance of the Federation to the grassroots members, to engage them. Need to make sure that the Federation is not lost among the FamVin groups. Promote the sustainable development goals in our social justice work.
  • A sense of urgency to do something now; importance of expanding our relationships; importance of contemplative and open listening; find more ways to involve the broader membership
  • Hope for the future in the sharing of resources (expertise, ministerial experiences); the Federation broadens our understanding of charism and mission
  • There are urgent needs in our individual congregations, but the Federation has experience and insight; sharing these could help leadership in some congregations.
  • The maturing of the Federation over the years; a sense of cohesion. The Charity charism is foremost in our minds; now how do we share it with the young people in the Vincentian family?

The gratitude of the Federation was expressed in song to the staff of the Atlantica hotel.

Mary Beth Kubera, DC introduced a group of Sisters who welcomed all – Sisters, Associates, communicators, archivists, etc. – to the 2019 Assembly of the Whole in Chicago with the song, Chicago, Chicago.

Grace Hartzog, SCSH announced that the Grassroots Connections group is asking everyone to pray for the success of the Assembly of the Whole. Prayer/reflection cards were prepared for distribution to each congregation. S. Grace and Joan O’Keefe, SCH thanked by name all who contributed to the success of the annual Federation meeting, those who were present and those who planned and worked behind the scenes.

Pat Wilson, SCH led the Federation in a closing ritual that incorporated the video, Everybody Dies… but Not Everybody Lives. On the back of her nametag, each person was asked to write the answer to the question, “What do you wish for as you move forward with risk, boldness, urgency and shared responsibility?” The nametags were placed in the center of the table. Each nametag was chosen by another, who will keep it until the Chicago meeting next year. After blessing each other in song, the ritual concluded with movement and song, If Not Now, Tell Me When.

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