Posted on: 02 May 2022
Author:Sister Joan Kerley
A short account of the first day of the UISG plenary in Rome.
After registration we gathered at our tables where we will spend the next five days sharing. There are so far only four at our table but others may arrive tomorrow. For now I am with Sr Felicity, Dominican from UK although she is South African, Sr Carmen from the US and Sr Agnes from Malawi. We have had a fruitful day together. After the welcome from the President Sr Yolanda we heard about the programme and various domestic details before the first talk by Dr Ted Dunn from the IS who spoke to us about The Dynamics of Transformation and gave a very powerful talk. I hope to be able to share this with you when I return as in the interests of the planet the talks are all being sent online rather than printed for us.
This afternoon we had three presentations for Sisters speaking about vulnerability , the first as a Leader during the pandemic, the second as a leader in a situation of Conflict and the third as a leader being a missionary. We were all so moved by the second speaker who spoke via video link from Aleppo in Syria and her words that she finished with when she said ‘ Never change a decision made in time of light when you are in darkness.” She said she had come to Aleppo in time of light and when asked if she wished to leave as many others who have left she said no despite having shortages of food and water as well as no power or fuel and under constant threat of death.
We then had sharing in table groups what had been three fruits of the day. For me it was first of all during the prayer when we were all asked to extend our hands and think of anyone we wanted to remember today so I thought of all of you and prayed for you all over the globe and all you are doing. Then I thought of the joy of being part of this worldwide gathering and gave thanks for being here. Thirdly I shared the pain we all felt this time a year ago when we lost five members of our Blackburn community because that was a real life situation of vulnerability. During the morning prayer we were given a piece of string and stuck a label to it with our name and that of our Congregation on it and this evening again during the prayer we were asked to write on plasters three wounds within our congregation which we pray for healing. I wrote the words fear, pain and lack of trust to cover whatever any of us might be feeling today. Forgive this being rather short but now I will walk to the parish for the 7pm Mass where I will remember you all. God bless and pray for me please.God bless. With my love and prayers Maureen fmsj