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13 November – Day of recollection

Today the delegates to the Chapter are having a day of recollection. Sr. Izabela Świerad SAC, Superior General, read to the assembly a letter of Pope Francis, in which the Holy Father sends his greetings to the participants of the Chapter and conveys his blessing to all the Sisters of the whole Congregation.

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In the morning conference, Fr. Dr. Roque Gonsalves SAC (India), General Secretary of UAC, took up the theme of the Chapter: “Do whatever he tells you”. (Jn 2:5). Walking in the footsteps of salvation history from Abraham, Noah, Moses and the prophets, he showed that what God wants from us is obedience. The disobedience of Adam and Eve was opposition to what God told them. The obedience of the Old Testament fathers of faith – the building of the Ark, the wandering of Abraham, the exodus from Egypt – was the fulfilment of God’s will.

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Mary, too, in faith, uttered her Fiat: “Let it be to me according to your word”. Full of grace – God’s presence – she never attracts attention to herself, but leads everyone to Jesus, who must constantly be the centre of our lives. Mary is like the moon that shines with the light of the true sun – Christ. She is the advocate who says to Jesus: “They have no wine”, this sister, this community, this congregation… In the school of Mary, in openness to the newness of the Holy Spirit, we learn to listen, contemplate and respond to the Word of the Lord in order to live life to the full! To do whatever Christ tells us is first of all to celebrate the Eucharist – “do this in remembrance of me” -, to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to visit the sick…

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The Chapter’s task is above all to preserve the heritage of the charism, to open itself to renewal within the framework of one’s charism and the gospel, to discuss the important matters of the Congregation, to elect a new government and revise its own laws.

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In his homily Fr. Roque pointed out the phenomenon of faith – a topic that was very close to the heart of St. Vincent Pallotti. The path of faith requires prayer, and prayer needs time. Faith is trust, entrusting oneself to God, choosing the best part and finally putting Christ at the centre of one’s life. We are responsible for the transmission of faith in the Church – we ourselves have received it from our parents and grandparents, we have made it our personal relationship with Christ, and we have a responsibility to pass on the light of faith to future generations. The afternoon of this day of recollection is dedicated to confession and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

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