FIRST WEEK: October 20th to 26th 2019

On Sunday, October 20th 2019, our Formation Session began with the celebration of the Eucharist with Fr. Eugène Diatta. This was followed by our opening celebration on the theme of water. Water is essential to human existence and is also the natural element by which Jesus chose to introduce Himself to the Samaritan Woman: “whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” As sisters responsible for initial formation, we are at the service of life and the most beautiful symbol of life is water! (Opening Celebration p. 6)

Focussing on the theme of water, the celebration also incorporated a response to the global appeal on care for our common home. As a symbol, each participant received an ecological water bottle, representing the water of life: Jesus Christ is the source of the living water that alone can quench all of our thirsts!

We then began a time of retreat facilitated by Mother Maria dos Anjos Alves, with the theme: Formation, Work of the Heart … an adage often used by Mother Rivier, our Foundress. She also reflected with us the witness of our lives as an open Gospel when Jesus is truly the center of our lives.  After our time of retreat, we enjoyed an evening of activities meant to help us get to know one another. Tuesday was a day dedicated to sharing our stories and dreams as we gathered, eager to participate actively in whatever these three weeks will offer. This activity was accompanied by a symbol that each one had chosen to express her expectations for this session. These days gave us the time to dispose ourselves for the coming days of work and to welcome the bounty of God’s love!

A Mozambican Blessed Sacrament priest, Fr. Agostinho Maholele, spent three days with us presenting various aspects of the theme: Discernment and Accompaniment. He gave the participants many salient points that are relevant today in our service as formators: theories and current issues on religious formation in the area of psychology, technology and human development.

On Saturday, we took time to interiorize and integrate our lived experience of this first week. The quality of the reflections and sharing among us truly affirms that: Formation is a priority, until Christ be formed in you! (Gal 4: 19)


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