2009 Council of the Congregation Themes
The Search for Peace:
Through Dialogue and Non-violence. Presentation by Pax Christi International focused on Non-violent communication skills as a spiritual practice.
The Millenium Development Goals: Today we share a commitment to these same goals – to eradicate absolute poverty, illiteracy and hunger, address health problems and take care of our planet – because we see them as part of our mission.
The Environment: The present state of the earth requires urgent choices to be made, choices which are not only the responsibility of world leaders. Each one of us, in her daily life, should adopt more sober, simple habits in solidarity with all. These, after all, are the basic values of gospel living. … This concern and care for our environment in NOT an option. We are on the brink of destroying not just poarts of our world but the entire planet. It is being poisoned and we are preparing catastrophes for future generations. We must act NOW.
New Technology: It is clear that the Church attaches great importance to the use of new technology as a means of communicating and proclaiming the Good News. The Church is also aware of the enormous influence which these media have in our society, an influence which in many instances is positive, but can also be negative and destructive. Is the new technology helping me to be faithful to my vocation? Is it helping me to grow … in my consecrated life, life of prayer, relationships, service, availability, attention to others, mission, human and spiritual maturity?
The Financial and Economic Crisis: Our Response: The economic crisis calls us, as religious women, to re-examine our interior attitude toward and exterior expression of the vow of poverty. It calls us to live simply and not only serve the poor but work tirelessly at local and global levels to close the growing gap between the rich and the poor.
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2006 General Chapter Orientations
Consecration: To the Springs of Living Water – By living our vows authentically, we show that to leave all to follow Christ makes us women who are free and responsible because we find our fulfilment in God; women who bear witness that the love of God enables us to transcend differences, and that it is possible for people to live in harmony; women whose security comes, not from possessions, but knowing EVERYTHING is a gift from God.
Charism: Rediscovering and Keeping Alive The Charism of Anne Marie Javouhey – Like Anne Marie Javouhey, we live in a confused world marked by a thirst for but also a denial of God; by violence, but also a desire for peace; by individualism, but also by solidarity; by a culture of death, but also a culture of life. Are we going to listen to the cries of so many oppressed men, women and children with the same passion which Anne Marie had in her search for the Will of God?
Vocation: Cluny Beyond Borders Sharing the Charism – The charism of Anne Marie Javouhey is a gift received for the Church and the world. It is a prophetic way of living the Gospel and of being counter-cultural in today’s world. Our mission is to share it with enthusiasm ‘ for the general good.’
Internationality and Universality for Mission – The world today experiences globalization, fragmentation, division and individualism, which can create anguish in the human heart. By our multicultural and international communities, we reflect the world in which we live. By our participation in the mission of Christ, we witness to the possibility of living in harmony while valuing and celebrating difference. As daughters of Anne Marie Javouhey, we are called to a missionary availability that is universal, international and cross-cultural.
Community LIfe: Sign of a Presence – Drinking deeply from the same source and journeying together in an authentic communal life, we build a new world and radiate the joy of belonging entirely to God. This is how we are witnesses and prophetic signs for today’s world.
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2003 Council of the Congregation Orientations
Orientation 1: The Poor: That we make a ‘preferential option for the poor’ the predominant reality in the Congregation. We are challenged to a more organized, more daring service in favour of the poor and the most deprived, and to a radical Gospel living of the vow of poverty.
Orientation 2: Non-Violence and Peace: Promote the practice of non-violence and forgiveness in our communities, in our different relationships and in society.
Orientation 3: Vocations: Promote vocations through concrete actions.
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2000 General Chapter New Challenges for the third Millenium
Conversion: If we respond to this call to conversion, our relations with ourselves, with God, with others and with the environment will be transformed. Conversion is an invitation to healing, to renewal and recreation. (pg.5)
Reconciliation: Forgiveness is a way of being in the world. The challenge of jubilee is to take forgiveness and reconciliation beyond ourselves, beyond our communities, into the world. We open our lives to the whole of creation, lives that proclaim God’s love, forgiveness and healing presence, lives that say, “See, reconciliation is possible; reconciliation leads to peace.” (pg.11)
Inter-religious Dialogue: The desire for dialogue is an essential part of the evangelising mission of the Church. The good news shared by all religions is that all are the children of God and have an eternal destiny. We are conscious as we enter into such relationships of the presence of the Holy Spirit in everyone and the power of the Spirit to bring differences into harmony. (pg. 12)
Liberty: Following Christ, whose life was the reflection par excellence, of freedom, let us commit ourselves resolutely to helping our sisters and brothers to win freedom. In the footsteps of Anne Marie Javouhey who struggled always to promote the full development of the person, let us use the best means at our disposal in our different apostolates to extend farther and farther a world of love, of justice and peace, in the true liberty of the children of God. (pg. 17)
Refugees: In this third millennium, following Christ as daughters of Anne Marie Javouhey, let us commit ourselves with energy to taking actions at every level for the re-establishment of the dignity of refugees as human beings. All those who are marginalized (displaced person, immigrants etc.) are a challenge to our conscience at provincial, community and personal levels. (pg. 20)
Justice and Peace: Our work for justice is a labor of love in which we carefully listen together with one another to change unjust systems and build anew for the future. … We accept the challenges put before us in the Pope’s message for the World Day of Peace 2000 – “work for a more equitable human society and struggle against social injustice; promote a greater sense of the common good; ensure that the human person is the center of all social progress; ensure a ‘globalization of solidarity,’ without marginalising some peoples.” We commit ourselves to work for the coming of ‘a new heaven and a new earth.”
Ecojustice and Environment: Nature is the first scripture or unwritten book which speaks to us of the creator; each aspect of it is an expression of God and when it is degraded or destroyed, we might say that an aspect of God is lost forever. (pg.25) The most modest of our initiatives, including reflection and rest, takes on new importance. Hence the need to develop in schools, homes, etc. wonder and awe at creation and its wonderful diversity, as well as a sense of reponsibility for the balance or imbalance created by personal action on the environment. (pg. 28)
Jubilation, Harmony and Unity of Life: We are called to personal conversion, to the mission, to reconciliation and to care of the environment. A generous response to this call in its various forms will be a response to our vocation, the fruit of which will be harmony with God, ourselves, our brothers and sisters and the whole of creation. (pg. 29)
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