International Meeting 2023
Jesus: Light of the World
Videoconference on February 15 -16
The meeting was convened and animated by the General Councillors, Sister Louise Benoit, Sister Hortência Ubisse and Sister Kelly Connors. Mother Maria dos Anjos Alves, Superior General, who was visiting Brazil, was present with her heart and with her prayers; she delegated Sister Charito Gorgonio, Assistant General, to give the welcome address. The participants of the six groups and the accompanying Sisters came from Cameroon, the United States, Mozambique, Peru, the Philippines and Quebec.
We are gathered with the theme, Jesus: Light of the World. The prayer at the beginning invited us to welcome this Light for ourselves and for our world and to be light for others through the love lived in our daily lives. First, the people introduced themselves and shared with us their call to the consecrated laity. Some are in formation and others have been consecrated for a number of years. All were unanimous in expressing their gratitude to the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary for having opened the opportunity of a lay consecration in connection with the Congregation. Saint Mary Rivier is more and more present in their lives and leads them to the love of Jesus Christ and to the service of their neighbor. It was interesting to hear the story of each group. The first consecration took place in the United States in 2007; the other groups were formed gradually afterward. People hear this call either from the Religious, from consecrated persons or from the Marie Rivier Association. Today, we have the joy of counting 22 consecrated persons and 18 in formation. Guidelines are proposed for the initial two-year formation; ongoing formation is left to the initiative of the groups who determine the content and functioning of their meetings. We have seen a beautiful diversity, a great depth during these meetings and a generous commitment of faith in various fields.
The fruits of the Spirit appear in the account that these people give of their journey: joy, faith, freedom, unity, welcome, solidarity, tolerance, and attention to young people, especially to people in need. We heard mention of the taste for prayer, adoration, the sacraments, and the Word of God. We feel that the spirituality and charism of St. Mary Rivier are unfolding in their lives.
The group had the privilege of participating in a virtual pilgrimage in the footsteps of Saint Mary Rivier. A well-prepared photo video guided us through the visit to Montpezat, Thueyts and Bourg Saint Andéol. A beautiful adventure and a spiritual experience lived with Sainte Marie Rivier so close to each and every one. We felt her audacity, her humility, her spirit of prayer, her trust in Providence, her love for Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
At the end of this international meeting, all hearts were in joy, gratitude and enthusiasm. We know each other better, we have shared the best of ourselves, we love each other more and we remain united in prayer. People feel invigorated and renewed by all this fraternal sharing. We form a beautiful spiritual family and our hope is great for the future. Saint Marie Rivier wanted to have a thousand lives… for the glory of God!