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Closing words

Closing of the XVII General Chapter.

September 2015 | Mª Rita Calvo Sanz, odn (Roma, Italia) | Other areas

We conclude an intense month that has made possible a significant experience for each of us and the entire Company.

We began the General Chapter with the conviction of having been called to discern how to be bearers of evangelical creativity in this globalized and changing world, to identify the horizon towards which we must walk in the coming six years, and explicitly express our trust in the Lord so as to know how to accept his Word with humility.

Today, we can say that God has allowed himself to be felt in multiple ways. I want to recall with gratitude the presence of the laity, young people and invited sisters with whom we have shared part of this Chapter. Once again we have seen that faith is a precious gift that we cannot keep to ourselves and experiencing it in a spirit of complementarity is a way to feed the flame and allow it to illuminate different people and different realities. We have sensed, again, that

God offers his integrating love so that together with him and united among ourselves, we can be witnesses of values and virtues that fulfill and dignify our societies and our world.

I also wish to acknowledge the presence of God in each of us, the opportunity to discover his will in what we have been expressing, in the gestures and silences that have also spoken to us. Opportunities to gather like this help us experience fraternity and how to build with who we are, a mixture of possibilities and limitations. Having had the good fortune to participate in this experience brings with it the responsibility to share it, to enthusiastically transmit to our other sisters that the future of the Company is not in the number that we are, but in the strength that we place on our passion for Jesus and the Kingdom, and bringing together our possibilities so that they can multiply, adding and not subtracting.

Many people have accompanied us with interest from afar: educators with whom we share the mission, members of the Laity Network, family, other congregations and groups, colleagues and friends ... We experienced their presence through the many messages that have arrived from different corners of the world. They have made us feel that we are many in the Company and we have sensed its significance in society and the Church.

We have also felt supported by the prayers of our sisters. We know that we cannot do without it, and we have become more aware that we need to cultivate a new contemplative sensitivity that allows us to discover how God dwells and works in the depths of each situation. We must create anew our way of looking at things, disrobe what hides the strands of life that continually sprout, even in the midst of pain and injustice. We need to become more aware that goodness always wins and that life is stronger than death. Both, goodness and life are necessary in our world and we must believe in them.

The inter-congregational meeting that took place at the end of the Chapter has confirmed how enriching our journey with others is. Experience is showing us that when we open the doors to others our reality expands and becomes brighter. Their presence in this Chapter, besides being a sign of communion, is something that our societies and our Church needs. It has been an experience that confirms what we want to live and they have enriched us with their resonances and contributions. Their participation has been a gift.

The song of Mary in her encounter with Elizabeth has been present throughout our reflections. She, like an older sister, has taken us by the hand to renew our confidence in He who is the owner of our existence and our history, and point us towards the horizon to which we must keep walking.

I entrust myself to the Lord's faithfulness and to all of you to support me in carrying out this new service of government in the Company. To each of you thank you for your closeness and signs of affection that make me feel that this mission is carried out among us all.

Upon completion of this Chapter, I want to express gratitude for the journey shared with Beatrice, Anne, Esperanza and Basiliane. I am certain that everything that we have built together over the years, what we have done well and everything which we have not known how or been able to do is an opportunity for further progress. Also my gratitude to this community of Rome, which has been a help, support and a place of rest for us, and all those who have been at our disposal and who, from the background, have facilitated our work.

I would ask my Team to take a seat beside me, with the desire that this be a sign of our commitment to remain united, complementing one another in this mission to lead the Company in ways that make the human face of God visible.
After our time together, like Mary, we return to our homes and, like her, we carry within us the new life that this chapter experience has given us, a small embryo that has to go, to grow and develop to the rhythm of spirit.

We distribute a book containing the letters of Jeanne de Lestonnac. As Beatriz Acosta says in the introduction, "Read them and delve into their message having as a backdrop the central theme of the Chapter, bearers of evangelical creativity in our world. This confirms, once again, that if we allow ourselves to be abided by the God of life, He will transform us and we will be able to manifest him in our actions and words with our own personal touch."


Mª Rita Calvo Sanz, odn: General Superior.


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