It happens every year around this time. A special weekend is planned calling together all those in the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Initial Formation whether postulant, novice or temporary professed Sister.
On Thursday, February 14, 2013, Sister Pamela Catherine boarded a plane in Phoenix. Sister Monica flew into Green Bay from Hawaii. Sister Regina Rose and Rexann walked from different corners of the Motherhouse to circle round the table in St. Al homeroom. Formation Co-ordinator Sister Mariadele Jacobs and Directresses Sister Natalie Binversie and Sister Elaine Turba planned the experience including Motherhouse Chaplain, Franciscan Friar of the Assumption Province Father Placid Stroik. Father was the weekend presenter of talks and presider at a special Saturday Eucharistic liturgy in St. Francis Chapel. His words were rich in symbolism and practical in insights about the consecrated life. One of his sources was Father Timothy Radcliff’s Sing a New Song: The Christian Vocation.
When asked what inspirations, appreciations, what struck you, what you especially liked, etc. about the Initial Formation Weekend , those directly involved had this to say…
I am most thankful for a special time of renewal to gather strength for the journey. Father Placid’s guidance and reflection on the gardens, swamps, and alligators in certain geographical areas encouraged me to do some self-introspection with the Holy Spirit. I thought of my own spiritual gardens, swamps and obstacles that sometime keep me from seeing God’s greater plan. With renewed vigor in using the Gospels as my compass and my eyes on the North Star (Jesus), I was encouraged to embrace the Paschal Mystery and continue to say ‘yes’ to the dying and rising I experience in my own life. Finding that I am not alone and indeed have genuine companions on the journey is always reassurance. -Rexann
I found it rejuvenating. I loved the commentary on our identity being in Christ’s alone. So it is for everyone, but as Sisters, we are “called to be” an eschatological sign of this reality. -Sister Monica
This weekend has truly been a blessing. It was wonderful to visit with so many Sisters, to reconnect with those in initial formation and to share in the wisdom and insights of Father Placid. It has been a time for me to redirect my compass towards the North Star and to share in much joy and laughter with all those in formation! Thank you, Father Placid and Sisters for a beautiful weekend. -Sister Pamela Catherine
The weekend was very good. Father Placid did a wonderful job addressing current issues in relation to our life as religious. As ever, there was only not enough time to hear more and ask more questions:)! I thought the segments on identity being found in the “rainforest” were important, though there were many great insights! -Sister Regina Rose