General Chapter 2021 - Day 5 - October 4, 2021

gc day5 250x2505 OCT, 2021. Our fifth day of General Chapter, 2021, on October 4, began with morning prayer and sharing, setting a contemplative tone for the day and we began with a beautiful nature video and faith sharing on Job 12:7-10 for the feast of St. Francis.

Dear Sisters,
Thank you for all your lovely messages to the chapter. We feel your closeness and we regret that the live streaming of the opening Mass was so poor, despite the expertise and efforts of SVD Media.

The morning prayer and sharing always sets a contemplative tone for the day and we began with a beautiful nature video and faith sharing on Job 12:7-10 for the feast of St. Francis (“Ask the animals, birds, fish… and they will teach you”). Work started with Josephine Apiagyei SSL giving a very thorough presentation of the financial report for the Institute, Juilly and Ethiopia, and the Areas. Next on the agenda came Ethiopia, Juilly and Ghana. Perpetua Apo SSL spoke of her experience in Ethiopia and Gladys Ekhareafo SSL spoke of France. Both related their personal experience and hopes with courage and simplicity, leaving no heart in the room unmoved. They helped us gain huge learnings for the future as they told their story, their experience of inadequate preparation in language, culture, and training suited to the mission; feelings of being uprooted and alone, and their gradual discovery of the beauty of each country, its people, their humanity, their goodness and their needs. However, what struck the deepest chord in us was how these two sisters learned over the years to live their mission in deep faith, becoming present among the poor in their very own poverty. Would that we could all experience the transformation that Gladys described:

Mission is
To go to a no place
To serve God’s nobodies
And in the eyes of the world, accomplish nothing.
And, as both concluded with conviction, “This is not a waste!”

Normally, that would have been enough for any one day but we know that our face-to-face chapter time here is limited so we willingly soldiered on, offering recommendations that we can realize in the coming years.

Our writing/editing committee came back in the afternoon and presented what looks like an almost perfect draft of what the chapter is discerning about Sint Unum in its many facets and what it requires of our institute - all of us - today. We offered suggestions, of course, and then left the work in their capable hands, to improve before it becomes part of the Chapter document.

Recreation as usual after supper saw games, filming interviews and various little groups chatting and sipping, closing with a video of lively cultural dances by the children of St. Louis Jubilee School, Kumasi, as a tribute to our Chapter. Can we shake our bones and rise to a response video? Stay tuned….

Love from the communications committee,
Bríd Long SSL, Mary Owusu-Frimpong, and Christie Kure SSL

To view more images from Day 5 of the General Chapter, click HERE.