In a day full of emotions and reflections, the XXVIII General Chapter culminated its activities in Vic, Barcelona. The closing ceremony, marked by two highlights, focused both on the closing of a stage and the anticipation of an inspiring future.
The day began in the morning with a moving farewell ceremony in the chapter house. The Vedruna Sisters paid tribute to Sisters Mª Inés García Casanova, Adelaida Moreno Puente and Mitsue Shirahama, who are leaving the General Team. With emotional words, they expressed their gratitude for the contributions and their dedication during these years leading the congregation.The new Sister General Maria Teresa Cuervo, gave an emotional speech in which she recognized the importance of working together and expressed her respect and admiration for those who were passing the baton, highlighting what they had experienced during these days, here are her words:
Dear sisters, the day and the hour have come to end this chapter stage. Perhaps some of us, at the beginning of these days, saw the end very far away; others, perhaps, thought it was too little time for all that we had to do.
We have experienced a before, in a year of reflection and evaluation of the previous six-year period, socializing the work in June; then we have had 32 face-to-face days here in Vic, during which the working days have been hard; and now comes the after, very important time for our Vedruna family, because, when we leave here, we will meet our communities and people with whom we share our life in mission. In these places of return, what we have all built here will become a reality.
A sister, in a moment of relief, said to me: “Life is not made in Rome, life is made here in the communities“. Yes, how true this sister is. From the general and government team, we will encourage, accompany and be attentive to the different realities of the Congregation as far as we can; but each one in her environment, in the mission, in the sending that her community sends her, is where she will legitimize and confirm what has been agreed upon here.
Today’s liturgy offers us a light for this moment. Two women from two different generations have the joy of meeting and sharing with each other the God who dwells in them. Their joy is so great that a third one rejoices with them and leaps for joy: John B. Let us also remember Mary Magdalene when she meets the Risen One, He and she rejoice, they are very happy, because Life has not only germinated but has blossomed. And in turn, both of them are urged to go and communicate to others, without reservation, their experience of life and joy that they have and have shared. Jesus says to her: “Run, Mary, do not stay here, and tell my brothers and sisters that…”.
After this month of capitular life, all of us are also invited to go, tell and bring to life what we have experienced here during this month, with adjustments, misadjustments, laughter,
moments of having a tight heart…, and along with this, also the brief times of jumping dances, to recover energies, to recover and to continue the tasks and commitments that we brought as a charge, when we were sent by the P/D.
We would like to thank each and every one of you. In a moment of silence, let’s think about who we say thank you to, so that no one is left unnamed. We started with the ladies who prepared our meals and those who beautified the house by cleaning the spaces we use, including the sisters of this city of Vic, the people who have intervened in different ways to make this Chapter what it is, was and will be; let us look around us: booths….
Sisters, let us carry in our hearts, in our hands and feet, in our whole being, the chapter life of this month, what we have built, and let us be accompanied by the voice of Joaquina: Be very confident: everything will turn out well, even better than you might think. To the extent that, on our part, we want to do good, the Lord will pour out his grace upon us so that all may go well and will increase the means that are necessary. (85.2).
Sisters, now I ask you: do you feel, believe and see that we have finished the chapter tasks and can end Chapter 28? Raise your hand.
Let us go forth sent by the Ruah, by the Spirit; let us go forth sent by Joaquina, and let us communicate with our word and life as witnesses that we really want to be Born Again.
We close and end this Chapter 28, it is now when the Chapter really begins.
This was followed by the celebration of the Eucharist, which took place at noon. In a multicultural atmosphere, provinces from India, the Philippines, Japan, Africa, America and Europe joined together to celebrate the Mass. The new Sister General spoke again, but this time in a context of shared faith and spirituality, you can download the speech of the Eucharist HERE
The duality of the acts, one focused on recognition and gratitude, the other on spirituality and commitment, illustrates the rich and diverse nature of Religious Life. With hearts full of appreciation and enthusiasm, the Vedruna Sisters are now embarking on a new chapter, ready to journey into the New Birth.