SECOND CHAPTER SESSION - BACKGROUND ANALYSIS
On August 27, 2022, the Second Chapter session was held Online in view of the 3rd Provincial Chapter of the Province of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Chambéry in Brazil. The Sisters, the Lay associates, and the collaborators met for the session via Zoom for this event with joy and faith. The theme of the Chapter is “Communities Immersed in the Spirit and Connected with the World” and the Motto is “One Heart and One Soul”.
Sr. Katia R. Sassi, the Provincial Superior, welcomed the participants and expressed her joy in having this session which unites, a large group of Sisters, lay associates, collaborators, and missionary cooperators, as well as the General Council, totaling more than one hundred and fourteen people. Thereafter, she presented the agenda for the day: a panel on issues of the current situations, to grow in a greater critical awareness of the context in which we live.
We had the following resource persons: Professor Valdevir Both who dealt with Socio-political, economic, and religious situations; Fr. Agenor Brighenti who dealt with the Situation of the Church and Sr. Márian Ambrósio, the Chapter facilitator who dealt with the Situation of Consecrated Life.
The opening prayer based on Mt. 25:14–30 was conducted by the Lay Associates which introduced us to the Spirit of the Chapter and reminded us that we are missionaries of Communion and prophetic heralds of the gospel.
A PANEL ON ISSUES OF THE CURRENT SITUATIONS
Sister Nilva Rosin introduced the day's theme of study inviting us to look at history and facts with a critical eye, to see reality with a look in favor of the life of the less fortunate.
Prof. Valdevir Both spoke about the social, economic, political, and religious situation. He highlighted the situation of misery, hunger, unemployment, and the glaring social differences. How to understand a country that produces and exports a lot, while many people die of hunger and are unemployed, causing huge social differences? Social movements have weakened and they no longer fight for equal rights, human dignity, and the promotion of life.
Fr. Agenor Brighenti spoke about the Situation of the Church and affirmed that it is not the world that is in the Church but it is the Church that is in the world. The Spirit of Church makes the discernment and challenges the world. The Church must impact the world. We are living a new moment after the election of Pope Francis. It’s a moment of renewal of the Church. He brings a series of new documents, the Synods and ecclesial assembly. We are living a new ecclesial moment, fruit of the renewal of Vatican II. It had its reaffirmation and resumed its course with the Fifth General Conference of the Latin American and Caribbean Episcopate, which took place in the city of Aparecida in São Paulo. This meant a return to its sources.
The participation of Fr. Agenor presented to us a living Church, present in our life and community. He challenged us to seek new answers, putting aside the old securities of the past. We need to take risks and hope to get it right.
Sr. Marian Ambrosio spoke about the Situation of Consecrated Religious Life. She recalled that we have been working intensively on aspects of this context since our General Chapter2021. Religious Life invites us to return to the sources. There is an incessant tension between being and doing. Who are we within this society and Church? The being is very fragile. Doing does not contribute to our being prophetic, which is to be RADICAL disciples in following Jesus. How do we become more radical in following Jesus? Religious life is the theological space. Mystic is profound word that challenges the religious way of life. Religious Life is invited to cross existential, prophetic, and missionary boundaries. Defending the common home and the synodal path are also our mission. How to be a protagonist, in the here and now? This became a big challenge. A fountain is a place that does not dry up. To return to the source is to return to its existence.
SHARING OF GROUP REPORTS AND SERVICE TEAMS
In the afternoon, Sr. Gertrudes Beal facilitated the presentation of the Reports of the Teams and Service Groups of the Province: Formation Team and groups; Vocational Animation Service; Spirituality and Retreats; Maintainers; Memory; Sisters' Health Care.
The presentations were creative and dynamic, and we could feel the experience of the mission of our sisters who serve the province in different roles. We feel the great scope of Brazil, and how much effort and dedication are invested to keep alive the flame of the Charism and Spirituality of the Sisters of St. Joseph and belongingness to the Congregation.
Sr. Adelide Cansi, Vacaria/RS