As usual, we are sending you our information also in the form of this printed bulletin, which allows us to describe our journey a little more fully and share it with you. We keenly feel your presence among us thanks to the many messages we have been receiving from you via email and our Institute?s website. Sincere thanks for all your prayers and best wishes.
Today we began the second stage of our itinerary, which is aimed at helping us identify the points we have in common so as to redesign our circumscription projects and, above, all, draw up our Continental Project. In view of this, here is a brief summary of the road we have traveled up to now:
Warmly welcomed by our sisters of Brazil, we immediately immersed ourselves in this circumscription?s situation through a visit to the Province?s apostolic headquarters?two new buildings that house all the central departments of the apostolate plus three communities (including the Provincial Government). We were very impressed with the way this province has organized its apostolic activities and by the strong spirit of commitment on the part of both our sisters and their lay collaborators.
This was an excellent way to start to forge the ?communion of thought? that we hope will be a distinctive feature of our meeting and it also made us more receptive to the light of the Holy Spirit, whom we are invoking all together with great insistence, asking him to bless us with a new Pentecost.
Sr. M. Antonieta Bruscato spoke about the Spirit in her opening talk, inviting us to listen to him attentively so as to identify the direction in which to move, in the certitude that the seeds of the future are already present in our current circumstances and that they are clearly discernable in our fervent desire to draw up a project that will enable us to grow in our Pauline life and generate life in others. This project, she underscored, should be inspired by the Lord, based on his Word, and aimed at redesigning our spiritual life, formation, community life and mission, in keeping with the pedagogy of taking small steps. And all this should be accomplished in constant dialogue with the situation of today?s world and its inhabitants.
In this spirit, each circumscription presented the assembly with a summary of the trends emerging in the socio-cultural, religious and communications contexts in which its members live and work. Many challenges and needs emerged that compelled us to examine ourselves profoundly regarding our bonds of communion, our apostolic solicitude and our responsibility to history. How can we continue to be a significant and prophetic presence in our ?real life? contexts? How can we share our energies and resources with one another and plan common itineraries (or at least strategies) that respond to the appeals of God?
In this regard, we received much food for thought from the talks of the General Councilors and Bursar General, who presented the various areas of the Pauline life (our spirituality, pastoral work for vocation, formation, community life, communications, mission, the sharing of our charism with the laity, and our economy), urging us to ?go beyond? our present situation, to cultivate a deeper interior life, to be ready to embrace new ways of carrying out the apostolate, to decisively enter the world of the new technologies, to view the future and thus the new generations from a positive perspective, to manage our temporal goods wisely, and to explore fresh ways of building communion among ourselves and of collaborating with the laity.
On 13 May, our journey was further enlightened by the talks of two guest speakers. Professor Daniel Seidel, who holds a doctorate in political science, competently and carefully analyzed the socio-economic situation of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. His talk was completed and enriched by that of Fr. Mario F. Miranda, sj, who presented us with an overview of the Church in America, highlighting the challenges she now faces in this post-Aparecida period as a result of the profound socio-cultural changes currently underway.
These talks gave us a very interesting ?tour? of the variegated situations of Latin America, where the members of the Church are called to be both disciples and missionaries?a reality that springs from her mission.
Our speakers had much to say on the subject and those interested in reading their talks in full can visit our international website and click on the ?resources? link on the page dedicated to the redesigning process.
How are the Daughters of St. Paul confronting these challenges? How are we living and proclaiming Christ on this continent? The answers to these questions emerged in the presentations we listened to today. Each circumscription superior described the redesigning activities already underway in her province or delegation and offered suggestions concerning how we can continue this journey together.
The time has now come for those of us gathered here in the Città Regina house to begin to pinpoint the elements essential to a Project aimed at redesigning our presence on the continental level?. Dear sisters, in these days we are counting more than ever on your support and prayers and we thank you as of now for your solidarity with us. We want to remind you that on the ?Redesigning? page of our www.paoline.org web site, you can find our daily schedule, the names of the sisters participating in this encounter, the talks that have been presented, pictures, daily news, etc.?all of which can help you share our journey more profoundly.
Warmest best wishes from all of us. With deep affection,
Sr. Iris Pontin and Sr. M. Rogeria Bottasso
Sao Paulo, 16 May 2010