Friday, February 1, 2019

Into the New Millennium: 1995 and 2001

The theme of the 20th General Chapter of the Sisters of Christian Charity (July 6 - August 5, 1995) was, "Live the Word of God in Eucharistic Community -- Our Way to the Future."   The document issued at the completion of this General Chapter noted, "We come together at the table of the Word to hear, to be challenged, to be changed. . . . As women of the Word, we hope to create a community life which is rooted deeply in prayer, the sharing of Scripture and Eucharist."

The document further discussed the need to cultivate a listening heart in the midst of pressures in ministry, and our "shared responsibility for creating a strong, vibrant local community."  Drawing on the example of Mary at Cana (John 2:5), the document continued:  "As women, and as religious, Mary is our model and mother.  She is THE woman of the Word, the one in whose body and heart the WORD became incarnate.  She is the contemplative woman who treasured all in her heart; the active, eager kinswoman who hastened in compassion to serve her 'sister' Elizabeth, and who noticed the need of the newlyweds at Cana.  She persevered in love on Calvary, and stood as a center of unity in the midst of the infant church, awaiting the coming of the Spirit."

The document concluded, "United, as a community, in the Word of God and the Eucharist, we will journey into the new millennium as a pilgrim people filled with radiant joy.  For God who is mighty had done great things for us!"

The 20th General Chapter also initiated an intensive spiritual preparation -- whose theme was  "Trust in God, Risk the Future" --  for the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Congregation on August 21, 1999.

The members of the 21st General Chapter (July 9 - August 4, 2001) wrote:  "When we take off our shoes and see and recognize our life together as holy ground, we gently approach the God within each other.  Our charism is a gift to be shared.  The fire of Christlike Love should be set free to touch the world that has not yet experienced its light and warmth.  This is holy ground!"  The members of the Chapter also shared the desire to collaborate with the International Union of Superiors General regarding issues expressed in their public Declaration to work in solidarity with one another to "be a living presence of the tenderness and mercy of God in our wounded world."

Actions flowing from this Chapter included the preparation of a temporary edition of the Constitutions by each province, reflection on apostolic religious life in light of developing directions and insights in theology and spirituality, and greater networking to share and celebrate the movement of the Spirit at that time in history. 

[At the 2001 General Chapter, Sister Adalberta Mette, of the German Province, was elected as the 11th Superior General of the Congregation.]
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The Sisters of Christian Charity of the North American Eastern Province will hold our Provincial Chapter from February 14-18, 2019.  Please join us in praying the prayer for our Provincial Chapter.

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