miércoles, 23 de abril de 2014

Reunification Meetings in Spain april 12 to 15, 2014.

Sisters Angela Fahy and Brigid Lawlor, Congregational Leaders visited the Good Shepherd communities in Barcelona and the Our Lady of Charity community in Bilbao from April 12 to 15, 2014.

Sister Carmen Fernandez, Province Leader of Spain accompanied them. In Barcelona, four communities from the area came together (approximately 40 sisters)to share their reflections and thoughts on the Journey of Enrichment and to reflect on the reunification through merger process in their Province. In the Good Shepherd province of Spain there are 11 communities and 58 apostolic sisters. The sisters in the infirmary community provided a grand welcome and hosted the event. There was time to visit nearby communities. One community operates residential services for children; another manages residential services within an apartment complex for children and families in crises situations.

In Bilbao, Sisters Angela, Brigid, Carmen, plus the Good Shepherd Province Leadership Team, Sisters Angelita Bandera, Carmen Galante, and Leonor García, and one OLC Central Team member, Sister Ana Berta Lopez Carrillo came together with the Bilbao community, two of whom serve as the leadership team, Sisters Aranza Trevilla and Martha Teresa Gomez Lopez. Following a prayer which included a sharing on the readings of the day and a reflection on how the readings connect well with the motivation surrounding the reunification as mission-oriented, Sr. Arantza symbolically handed Sr. Brigid the keys to the house in Bilbao. The mission partners from Bilbao and San Sebastian, (a nearby town where there are no sisters but many mission partners) joined the team members to describe the programmes that “Fundación Eudes” provides. These included residences for children from age 0 to 18, a Professional Foster Care Program, and services for women and their children in situations of domestic violence. A tour of the programs located within the compound followed.

In the afternoon a session with the sisters similar to that held in Barcelona took place. There are 21 members of the community, 10 of whom live in the infirmary, and 2 who are having temporary mission experience. In the evening the sisters in the infirmary hosted a fiesta! The next day the two teams developed plans for how they will hold celebrations in both Madrid and Bilbao to highlight our historic reunification. 

Overall, in both gatherings there was a sense of joy about the reunification. One OLC sister who is 102 years of age said “I have been waiting for this to happen!” A GS sister said “when we look at the essentials, we are able to journey together.” Everyone seemed clear on what unites us and was willing to work with challenges as they come along.

Picture :Mission Partners

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