“Stir into Flame the Gift of God” was the motto of the international meeting of young perpetually professed Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth from around the world. The meeting took place January 15 – 25, 2013 in the Generalate in Rome. The goals of that meeting were to bring together some of our sisters from different countries and cultures, to enable them to experience the reality and richness of our internationality; to offer a chance to delve deeper into our Nazareth spirituality and to be re- energized in their passion for our mission and charism. No wonder that the meeting took place in Rome, the heart of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth and the Church.
I had the privilege to participate in the meeting and I have to say that the meeting met the set goals. I am very grateful for being there and having the opportunity to touch again the mystery of our charism and experience our Congregation in different way.
Besides different meetings, talks and faith sharing, we had time to meet each other, to share our daily struggles and successes, our limitations and our dreams. I think it was most important that we could see a bigger picture of our Congregation; we could see each other through different eyes and we could see what we did not see before, especially richness of our diversity.
When I listened to the sisters’ stories about their ministries in different countries, I realised once again how rich we are by having many talented sisters full of courage, enthusiasm, love and faith. I really feel grateful for our Nazareth: that means for our Sisters. I would like to say to each Sister, “THANK YOU. Thank you for your dedicated life to spreading the Kingdom of God’ Love in whatever you do and wherever you live…”
What I said before was that one of the goals of the meeting was to delve deeper into our Nazareth spirituality. Many of the meetings helped us to discover anew the beauty and richness of our charism and spirituality. Gathering and Mass in the house on Via Machiavelli where our Mother Foundress lived and died was one of the most touching experiences for many of us. We had time to meet Bl Mother Frances of Jesus the Good Shepherd (Mother Foundress) by being in her room, touching her belongings and praying individually in the chapel where she prayed. Once again I could see and experience that our charism lives in me and in each sister; that our charism is a dynamic reality and has to be experienced, guarded, deepened and expanded to grow.
To be in the heart of the Church, it is impossible do not visit the Vatican and many other sacred places connected with our faith history and our Congregational history.
We had a chance to see and pray in many places and it is not possible to mention all of them. The most significant events for me were the Mass in the tomb of the Blessed Pope John Paul II and the Vespers with Pope Benedict XVI in the basilica of St. Paul Outside the Wall. Visiting and prayer in each church was like meeting with many witnesses of our faith. These called and inspired me to be a better witness of Gods’ love.
However, the meeting finished officially and we came back home. The spirit of that time lives in us. We have the challenge to “be stirrers of the flame in our communities, wherever we find ourselves. I have a challenging task to stir into flame the gift of God by allowing the Holy Spirit to stir into flame the gift of God in my heart.
sr.Margaret (Malgorzata Kozub) CSFN