On Monday, June 27, 2022, the Opening Ritual of the XVI General Chapter of the Missionary Sisters took place. Sr. Barbara Staley, MSC, General Superior, welcomed all the Sisters and laity and officially declared the opening of the Chapter.
Mark Davis, facilitator of the Chapter, invited the table groups to share information about themselves: who they are, our mission, and our desire for this moment in the Institute.
Fr. Mariano Sedano Sierra, a Claretian Missionary, provided spiritual input as he delved into the call of mission. He invited the Sisters and laity to look at things with both eyes and to go to greater depth. The dynamics of mission call the Institute to go beyond superficiality and [for each of us to consider] what does the mission ask of me?
Sr. Barbara Staley provided a report on the work, development and state of the Institute over the past eight years which was followed by small group discussion. This was followed on June 29th with a report from the small groups to the larger assembly.
A financial report was presented by Sr. Stella Maris Elena, General Treasurer and Mr. Greg Lane, Chief Financial Officer.
Presentations were made on inter-congregational collaboration in service of migrants and refugees as well as those who have been victims of human trafficking. Additionally, a presentation was made by Sr. Albertina Ghislieri Goulart on the mission in Uganda.
On June 30th, Sr. Concepcion Vallecillo, MSC presented on the International Health Commission which recounted Mother Cabrini’s dream and the origin of the Cabrinian mission in healthcare.
Rounding out the day were presentations of the three Provinces: Mater Gratiae, Guadalupe and Santa Francisca Cabrini and the Holy Spirit Region. Each reality accented the advances being made as well as the challenges that must be faced.
On July 1st, the laity were invited to dialogue with each about the needs surrounding their formation, while the sisters met to dialogue on specific aspects of religious life.
The Chapter participants highlighted the sharing of life, and the witness of the laity in the experience of the Cabrinian charism, expressed in the various missions.
On July 4th, the Chapter entered the second week of activities which began by praying and reflecting on the topics discussed in the first week.
Individual and collective reflections on discernment were let by Mr. Chris Lowney, who helped the participants to recognize that we live in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world (VUCA) which entails various challenges. The reflection on discernment, following the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius accented learning to identify our consolations and desolations. He encouraged everyone to move forward like Mother Cabrini unloading our unhealthy baggage, recognizing that we are all responsible for the mission, regardless of our roles and from whence we might be.