FrontL-R: Vinnie Catania, Yosephine Waryani, Dea Ayala, Barbara Dopierala,* Standing L-R: Emilia Palma*, Yvette Hubert*, Yvonne Gera, Alma Dufault*, Lois Ann Pereira, provincial, Lawrencia Hanee, Claire-Monique Lerman, Lucille Viau, Fr. Robert Beirne, celebrant, Alva Daniels, Goska Bukowska*,, Rozina Yaquib, Betty Keegan, Mary Motte*, Elizabeth A. Conyers*, Mary Anne Williamson
On July 6 we set out on this time of journey together – a journey in which we would re-discover again the beauty and strength Mary of the Passion’s inspiration at the founding charism of our FMM community.
The words of Pope Francis at the Easter Vigil Mass 2014 were so appropriate for our opening time of prayer…. Return to Galilee… “For each of us, too, there is a “Galilee” at the origin of our journey with Jesus…‘To go to Galilee’ means something beautiful… To return to Galilee means above all to return to that blazing light with which God’s grace touched me at the start of the journey. …”
The Sabbatical Month builds its energies by going more deeply into the gift of charism received first by Mary of the Passion and subsequently by each FMM. The elements that make up this charism, i.e., those which were present in the intentions, writings and practice of the Foundress, Blessed Mary of the Passion, each FMM assumes responsibility for upon her acceptance to be fully incorporated in the Institute at the time of her Final Profession. The elements of the FMM charism are: Offering, Mary, Eucharist, Universal Mission, Franciscan, and International Community-in-mission.
The story of the Potter and the Clay; squares for a quilt, and an introduction to quilt-making were the hands-on experiences that accompanied our journey into the Charism through Presentations, Reflections, Conversations over four weeks which elicited the fullness of the fmm charism in each one. The Sabbatical is a time to capture the images that have and are shaping one’s journey, and a time to ask the Lord, Where are You leading me?
These four weeks were interspersed with Presentations, Prayer, Eucharistic Celebrations, Reading, Conversations, and Relaxation. Some nearby communities were visited on the free weekends, along with some sites of interest such as Water fire Providence RI, Jamestown, RI, Freedom Trail and Harbor Walk in Boston.
The final week was one of Integration – a time of silence when each day focused on one element of the FMM charism. Each participant entered into conversation with God, writing down her experience as a Psalm for our Evening Prayer together. The final Mass was a time of Eucharistic Celebration, Renewal of Vows, and Gratitude, ending with a Mission Sending by Lois Ann Pereira, fmm provincial in US, and a celebration meal.