‘How Good and Pleasant It Is When Sisters Live Together in Unity’

‘How Good and Pleasant It Is When Sisters Live Together in Unity’
Father Bruce Lewandowski, CSsR develops the topic 
“We are All Missionary Disciples”

Yesterday, November 30, was the feast of St. Andrew, and the Gospel told the story of how Jesus called his first disciples, Simon, called Peter, and his brother Andrew.

It seemed fitting, then, that attendees at Ongoing Formation Conference 2016 heard Father Bruce Lewandowski, CSsR, speak about the importance of keeping alive the Church’s mission in the world.
Referencing the Gospel, Father Bruce explained that when Christ began to preach, he began to gather disciples, who were hearers, and afterwards, preachers (kerygma) of his doctrine. He noted that one of the central purposes of mission is to bring people together in hearing the Gospel, in fraternal communion (koinonia), in prayer (liturgia) and Eucharist, as well as in being people of service (diakonia).
Father noted that what was done at the beginning of Christianity to further its universal mission remains valid and urgent today. By virtue of baptism, every Christian is sent forth to proclaim the Gospel all over the world, and called to repeat the cycle of kerygma, koinonia, liturgia, and diakonia, “because there is always someone who needs to hear the Word.”
Discussing what it means to be missionary disciples are, from L:  S Kathryn Marie Augustyniak, IM José da Cunha, IM Aparecida Vilas-Bôas, and 
 IM Nazaré da Costa Quaresma

“Pope Francis is calling us to be missionary disciples,” he said,” and encouraged the sisters to “be nostalgic for the pioneer time with its outward movement toward a world waiting to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ.”

In both small and large groups, the sisters discussed what it means to be missionary disciples and its relationship to initial and ongoing formation.
The afternoon session began with adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel, followed by praying the rosary together, reflecting on the Glorious Mysteries, praying for those called to make disciples of the nations, pleading with the Spirit to renew the call to serve in the priesthood and consecrated life, as well as those called to continue Jesus’ work.
Following this sacred prayer time, the large group broke into four smaller groups. Their task was to review sections of THE FUNDAMENTALS OF FELICIAN FORMATION: The Spirit’s Creative Presence with an eye to possibly revising the document published in 1994.
Praising the Lord in music ministry, from L:  SM Purity Wawira Ireri,
SM Cynthia Ann Machlik, and S Margaret Marie Padilla

Sister Celestine recognized both Sister Danat and SM Franciszka Stępniewska for organizing the Conference and briefly reflected on “What Now?” She encouraged sharing with the sisters important learnings from the meeting, particularly the post-Vatican II understanding of the vows and articulating the missionary characteristics of the Felician charism.
Following Evening Praise, the Closing Prayer officially concluded Ongoing Formation Conference 2016:
Jesus, Good Shepherd, today we come to you with great gratitude for the    gift of this meeting. To paraphrase the Psalmist we say: How good and   pleasant it is when sisters live together in unity! (Ps. 133.1)

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