As we continue within the Easter Season, I send to you Easter greetings and my prayer that all of us will prepare our hearts to receive the promised gift of the Holy Spirit. Mother Cabrini had a special devotion to the Holy Spirit. In 1895 she wrote:
“ If we invoke the Spirit with a humble and trusting heart … he will penetrate the depth of our hearts with His blessed light and burning fire. He will purify, strengthen, enlighten and inflame our hearts with the fire of his holy, divine love.”
The Spirit of God has indeed been active! As of January 1, 2018 we are a new Province, with a new name and new locations which form the Province. Prior to this time, we were known as the “Stella Maris Province” which included Australia, Swaziland and the United States. Now we are called the Guadalupe Province, in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the Province includes: Australia, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and the United States. (Swaziland is now part of another Region.)
Becoming a new Province has been a journey that began with our preparations for the General Chapter of 2014. We were invited during our General Chapter to open our minds, our hearts and our wills in order to effect the transformative changes necessary to live our Cabrini Charism today with renewed creativity and zeal. As we live into taking on this new identity as the Guadalupe Province there is already evidence of “something new”. Perhaps the most significant change is in how we “see” and “think”. Context helps shape how a person sees and thinks and our context has greatly expanded. For example, during the past week our hearts have been deeply disturbed by the events in Nicaragua during which the people have tried to have peaceful protests in response to a change in law that would harm the poor and most vulnerable. In response, the government resorted to violence (over 30 people have died), censorship of the media, and false statements. As a new Province, that includes Nicaragua, our hearts are broken by the loss of life and the treatment of the people who were and are simply seeking justice and their basic rights. We feel their pain because it is not just “breaking news” (although little has actual
ly been in the news!) but it is people we know and care for – context and relationship changes our hearts and our thinking. We recall Jesus’ words to Paul when he asked – “Who are you?” and Jesus’ response, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting!”
You will notice new stories in The Update as our journey of walking together continues. Taking a new name always signifies something new. In her time, Our Lady of Guadalupe sought to build bridges of communion and healing where there was division and misunderstanding. The image of Guadalupe shows her as pregnant – a promise of new life. This is our hope – abundant life – the life promised by the Risen Jesus!
Sr. Diane Olmstead, MSC, Provincial – Guadalupe Province