A reflection on Europe
A reflection on Europe
Avila ( Spain ). From September 18 to 21 a meeting of all the provincials of Europe took place in Avila . The theme was “ How to be signs of God's love at the heart of Europe ”.
Mother Yvonne spoke on the morning of 19th, focusing on the theme: «Who are the citizens of Europe today? What is the identity of Europe ? How do we become aware of the change that has taken place in Europe and what are the implications for formation at all levels?» She continued: «The real questions come to us from young people and we must listen to them, not just anyhow, but by learning to be women of reflection and prayer, capable of taking the time needed to think out the great changes that are taking place imperceptibly. (…) our charism is ‘anti-immobilising' and asks that we remain open to mobility, flexibility and searching».
Input followed from Sr. Enrica Rosanna FMA – Undersecretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. She dealt with the topic: “ Europe and the changes taking place there, with special reference to the religious situation and to active religious life”. Fr. Josè Cristo Rey Garcia Paredes, CMF, shared some reflections on “Hope as mission in our European context ”.
After a rich discussion in the hall and some time for reflection, the assembly was invited to identify “the calls” that they saw as most urgent and fundamental for our charism.
The morning of 20th also opened with some words from Mother Yvonne. With strength, enthusiasm and great conviction she invited those present to feel the urgency and responsibility of the present and future of the charism in Europe . She insisted on commitment to Christian formation and a preferential option for the accompaniment of young people and encouraged everyone to mobilise themselves, as educating communities, for them.
After a period of reflection, the assembly chose the priority “calls” that reflect our responsibility and strengthen the confidence of those with whom we must carry forward this process; the call to be more mystical and prophetic communities and the explicit proclamation of Jesus in the face of the challenges of today and the questions of young people, both those they express and those they cannot put into words.
Group work followed to identify lines of action for Europe today. Among those shared in the assembly, five were chosen and later they tried to give three practical steps for each one.
The final day was dedicated to personal and group reflection on priorities at European level, which the various groups had identified during the previous days.
With regard to these priorities they outlined practical guidelines, concrete steps, timescales and the distribution of tasks.
Interventions of clarification and integration in the Assembly followed the line of the most obvious prophetic choices in works and projects that respond to present challenges and to networking, so as to make the best use of the resources and energies present in the different European countries.
After this, there was a meeting of the individual Interprovincial Conferences, and then each group presented their priority choices to the assembly. Once again there was a strong sense of getting to know each other and of participation between the various Interprovincial Conferences through meetings, communication, sharing of projects, in order to create a unified vision and way of working at European level.
Mother Yvonne concluded the meeting, highlighting the presence of the Spirit and of Mary Help of Christians, who accompanied this reflection on the situation in Europe and the will for conversion in the light of hope.