miércoles, 2 de julio de 2014

Triduum of Second day - Reaping the harvest

Honoring the Mission and recalling the History from 1835 up to the present time.
For our second day of Triduum, we gathered outside in our beautiful garden.Sr Brigid gave a brief introduction on the historical development of Good Shepherd internationality, then the song El Espíritu del Señor was intoned. We were then divided into two groups, sisters of our Lady of Charity and sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd. There were also some sisters of the other Congregations and lay partners who were invited to choose either group.

We were led by Rita for one group and Ana Berta for the other group as we began our Journey from 1835 onwards. We started from the centre piece of the Magnificat garden, prepared by the ritual committee….. On our journey we stopped at different places to harvest the fruits of the mission and we also took a few moments to recall and share what happened at different times in the history of the Congregation.

The journey continued, arriving at the moment in our history where we began the journey of Enrichment. The fruits we collected on our way were brought to the altar in the chapel. We then listened to the words from a conference of St Mary Euphrasia telling us that she belonged to all nations…

A Mother’s Blessing” was offered by sisters Cruz Celia Josephina Ana Berta, Elaine, and Jude Ellen and we ended with the celebratory dance and joyfully greeted each other..This was followed by a delicious supper prepared by the Sisters of our Lady of Charity.

Read the complete programme in PDF


Following the founding vision of St. John Eudes, the heart of spirituality is incarnational, focused on Christ the Incarnate Word. As Angela expressed yesterday, John Eudes from his experience of the love of God, valued the individual person. St. Mary Euphrasia likewise experienced the value and dignity in each person which she saw embodied in Jesus the Good Shepherd. She knew God’s tender mercy and communicated it.


On October 20, 1814, Rose Virginia Pelletier entered the Refuge in Tours, and on September 9, 1817 she made her first profession was given the name Mary Euphrasia. In 1825 she was made Prioress of the Tours community. Then, her next significant step was…: Can anyone remember what happened on November 9, 1825? She founded the Sister of St. Magdelan, the contemplative sisters. At the request of the Bishop of Angers, she traveled to Angers France and on June 6,1829 founded the Monastery of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd of Angers. More and more requests were made of her to establish other houses throughout France. This led to the establishment of the Generalate. Who remembers story?

It was the Feast of the Assumption. The community was assembled in choir for Solemn Vespers. When the “Magnificat” was intoned, St. Mary Euphrasia, who had been presiding, felt such a storm of tears that she left the prayer and went to her room. Eventually, the agony subsided and she felt an overwhelming grace fill her soul. She was inspired to write. Thus she wrote the letter – addressing it to a Cardinal whom she presumed would give it to the Holy Father. Does anyone remember how the letter began?

“My soul doth magnify the Lord: and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.

Then, she made her request describing the Generalate. Cardinal Odescalchi, (whom by the way, she had seen in a dream shortly after she wrote her letter), replied two months later asking for a letter from the Bishop of Angers…Bishop Montault.. (You can imagine the challenge that offered to her). However, God’s desire pushed through any confusion or resistance.

Father Kohlmann, SJ, a member of the reviewing commission analyzed. Mary Euphrasia’s request. He placed his hand upon the paper which had been wet with St. Mary Euphrasia’s tears and quietly said “The truth is here.”

Every one present felt that he was right. Next the request went before the Cardinals. They were unanimously in favor of granting the petition of Mary Euphrasia which asked that all the Houses of the Good Shepherd founded in FRANCE should be under the authority of a General Government. The proposition was read aloud that all might hear it.

Father Kohlmann rose to his feet when he heard the words and turned respectfully towards Cardinal Odescalchi. And said “I humbly beg Your Eminence to change the word FRANCE into that of UNIVERSE.”

Cardinal Odescalchi replied: “Do you want to make of this another Society of Jesus,” Father Kohlmann, SJ said: “Your Eminence has said it.”

Cardinal Odescalchi then proclaimed: “Well, it will be, A work such as this could not be anything but

Thus, the word France was erased and no other put in its place, hence the document knows no limitation of space or nationality, and automatically the authority of the House of the Good Shepherd of Angers was extended to every land where a House of the Order is founded. One pen-stroke made our Institute universal! Knowing of the wholehearted approval of the Cardinals, Pope Gregory XVI smiled and said, “Then I also give it my heart and my voice!”

And here we are in Rome. The Foundation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd in Rome began on June 5, 1838. Today we are in over 70 countries where we are aware that we receive mercy from all with whom we participate in mission – women, girls, families….and we cannot separate our salvation from theirs. (Const #5)

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