Over the past few years, the general administration of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth organized a ten days renewal program for young sisters after their perpetual profession of vows. I was blessed to be one amongst the twenty-seven participants from all the provinces of the congregation around the world.

My desire was to enkindle my love for our Foundress, Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd. I was deeply moved as I listened to highlights of her life and spirituality, touched her relics, read her letters and walked in her footsteps to the places where she lived, prayed and served.

One of the most significant experiences occurred when I was in the Good Shepherd Convent on Machiavelli Street, where our Foundress lived and died.

During the Eucharistic celebration the priest used the image of water, free-flowing and fresh to describe our spiritual heritage. This was very meaningful for me for I wanted to find its source and I knew that it must be somewhere here.

One afternoon we went to Piazza Navona. This was no ordinary excursion for we went to share our Good News with others. It was like an explosion of joy. As we sang, prayed, danced and talked, many people, young and old joined us. It reminded me of the story of Pentecost (book of Act 2) when the disciples received the Holy Spirit and went to the streets to spread the Good News.

When I left Rome and returned to Australia I felt energized by my renewed relationship with our foundress and strengthen by the privilege of belonging to an International Congregation. I learned so much from my sisters and treasure the hopes and dreams we shared.

How great and inspiring is God’s love.
To be continued…

Sr Bogumila Malikowska

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