WE ARE ALL BROTHERS - WE ARE ALL SISTERS
Sisters of St. Joseph from all continents gathered together to pray on Fratelli Tutti
Inspired by the Encyclical letter Fratelli Tutti of Pope Francis, the General Council and the ICC invited the whole Congregation for an hour of prayer as a Congregation on Saturday, August 28, 2021. Other congregations of St. Joseph were also invited to pray with us.
The theme: “Sisters and Brothers Promoting Peace in the World” brought us together from all continents on Zoom and Facebook platform. We had over 300 direct participants but there were many communities which prayed together as a group. Therefore, we are not sure of the total number of people who prayed with us. We are certain, that it was a sacred moment for each one, for everyone who joined this prayer were in tuned and let oneself be led by the words, music and the prayerful atmosphere that permeated this hour of prayer.
The encyclical letter, which highlights fraternity and social friendship, has eight chapters. We covered each of them for our prayer.
Chapter 1 - DARK CLOUDS OVER A CLOSED WORLD
Lord and Father of humanity, you created all human beings equal in dignity. Infuse our hearts with a fraternal spirit and inspire us with the dream of a renewed encounter, dialogue, justice and peace. May it help us to create healthier societies and a more dignified world, a world without hunger, poverty, violence and war.
Chapter 2 - A STRANGER ON THE WAY
Lord, today we have many opportunities to begin anew, to express our innate sense of brotherhood, to bear the pain of suffering humanity, and to make a constant effort to integrate and uplift the fallen. Strengthen our generosity and spirit of compassion and courage to go beyond the borders to serve our dear neighbour, to embrace all differences and be in proximity with others without expecting anything in return. Amen.
Chapter 3 - ENVISAGING AND ENGENDERING AN OPEN WORLD
Lord, help us to live and spread the “social friendship” that will allow us to reach universal openness. May our human family learn the art of living together in harmony and peace. Remove from us the evil of uniformity, for we do not need to be equal to love one another fully. May the presence of the brother/sister, the different and the foreigner, be a reason for celebration, acceptance and inclusion. May the brotherhood lived among us help us to build relationships that respect individual freedom and lead us to social friendship and universal brotherhood.
Chapter 4 - A HEART OPEN TO THE WORLD
God of all-inclusive love, you call us to find solidarity and gratuity with the conviction that all human beings are brothers and sisters and to see things in a new light when our neighbour is an immigrant. Help us to grow by doing our best to welcome, protect, promote and integrate those who are different from us, with an open heart that allows them to be truly themselves.
Chapter 5 – A BEETER KIND OF POLITICS
Eternal God, Source of Wisdom, we ask you to bless the leaders, we elect. May they be guided by your Spirit to lead with justice and social charity. May they work for the welfare of all nations and contribute in building a more just, fraternal and supportive society. Amen
Chapter 6 - DIALOGUE AND FRIENDSHIP IN SOCIETY
Lord, Father of the entire human family, teach us to heal wounds through dialogue and genuine friendship. Help us to embrace and promote the culture of encounter. Give us the grace to break the bridges of hostility and conflict so that peace may reign forever in every human heart. Amen!
Chapter 7 - PATHS OF RENEWED ENCOUNTER
Creator God, give us the courage to be true reconcilers and bearers of hope and peace, so that we may be open to the paths of renewed encounter. Amen.
Chapter 8 - RELIGIONS AT THE SERVICE OF FRATERNITY IN OUR WORLD
Triune God, all Religions place their belief in You and call upon You by different names and in different ways according to their belief. Today, we pray for religious leaders around the world so that they may become people of dialogue which gives life, sustains hope, manifests unity and sows seed of reconciliation by building bridges and breaking walls. May they work for the development of humanity and for universal brotherhood. Amen!
CONTINUE TO EXPLORE AND REFLECT ON FRATELLI TUTTI
At the end of the prayer Sr. Sally, the Superior General, said: “We encourage you to continue to explore and reflect on Fratelli Tutti individually, in local communities and in your groups. It is a theme which calls us for inclusion and appreciation of the different, to see the richness of diversity and relieve the suffering of others. The theme is directly linked to our charism of inclusive love and communion. We can only have an authentic dialogue if we respect the dignity of each person and live the culture of encounter which Pope Francis speaks of, pursuing the points of convergence with others, building bridges and planning a future that includes all people.
With the Hymn “Irish Blessing” we were invited to welcome and offer the blessing to one another and conclude our prayer. “May the road rise to meet you/ May the wind be ever at your back/ May the sunshine upon your face/ And the rain fall soft upon your fields/ And until we meet again/ May god hold you, / Ever in the palm of his hand”
SOME MANIFESTATIONS OF PARTICIPANTS
“The celebratory prayer and reflection on Fratelli Tutti which manifest the hopes and dreams was such a wonderful experience! It was also an incredible opportunity to see the faces on the Zoom screen after the prayer service. For me it was an amazing joy. Thank you for inviting me to participate in this prayer service which was for all the Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambery. May your entire community and all your friends and ministries celebrate with you the work you do as a faith community”. (Sr. Nadine)
“I would like to thank everyone who was involved in any way in preparing for last Saturday's ZOOM prayer... The entire celebration was wonderful, spiritual and very prayerful in expressing the world situation as we go through this difficult times... Certainly, The Encyclical letter Fratelli Tutti of Pope Francis is well represented through the parable of the Good Samaritan...a challenge for me personally and for all of us, to be and to do the best we can to bring the Word of God wherever we are in mission…. Once again, thank you for all the technology used to conduct this prayer...” (Sr. Teresa Mary Henry)
“Thank you so much to the team who provided us with this deep and dynamic prayer. It’s a grace to be part of this dynamic congregation!” (Sr. Dominga Zolet)
“The prayer went very well. Thanks to everyone who organized and animated. The sisters in the US and the provincial house were delighted to be able to participate in the prayer service on zoom platform. Once again, thank you very much, thanks also to everyone who participated.” (Sr. Barbara Mullen)
“The Prayer on Fratelli Tutti was brilliant! Flawless! Perfect technology! CONGRATULATIONS and thanks to the General Council and all those who worked for it. I loved it!" (Sr. Paula Gobbi)
Sr. Eliana Aparecida dos Santos, ICC