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February 28-March 2, 2014

asbrasile 01Sisters Marta, Lécia, Thalyta, and Helena Paula working in a groupThe Assembly began in the afternoon of Friday, February 28, under the leadership of Sister Maria Helena. It was an afternoon of reports and updates on the Congregation and the Area. We welcomed with gladness and hope the news that some ministries were taken over by new Sisters in the Area. We were happy to receive the e-mails from our new leaders in the Congregational Council wishing us a good Assembly: Distance separates us physically but love has the power to bring us close together.  Despite the distance, we are always united through prayer and the merciful love of our Father.

asbrasile 02Sisters Antonieta, Bernadete, Júlia, and Goretti working in a groupDuring the Assembly, I asked some Sisters to write a few words about the highlights of their experiences at this gathering because God touches each person differently, and manifests Himself in a particular manner to each one of us. Sharing our experiences enriches all, transforming us into a beautiful, cheerful, welcoming, and happy Religious Community.

“PERSEVERE IN PRAYER... CONTRIBUTE TO THE NEEDS OF THE HOLY ONES, EXERCISE HOSPITALITY.” (Romans 12:12-13)

“I returned from the Pilgrim Retreat in Salvador just prior to participating in the Assembly -- a asbrasile 03 Sisters Marta, Júlia, Terezinha, Maria Helena and facilitator Danielacombination of experiences that were very gratifying. I felt physically and spiritually recharged -- and it had been a while since I felt like that. As I was already in Goiânia, I made myself available to help with the preparations for the Assembly, helping them prepare the environment and make it more welcoming for the Sisters from other communities. During the Assembly, we worked together as a community, giving of ourselves and combining our efforts so that all would feel comfortable. The Assembly went as planned: we all participated in the discussions and shared moments of prayer and work." (Sr. Mª Lúcia Barbosa de Oliveira.)

In the rainy morning of March 1 began with a Celebration of the Eucharist led by Dom Ruy Roy, OSB and then we welcomed Advisor and Facilitator Daniela in our midst. Together with Sister Maria Helena, she asbrasile 04Sisters Tânia, Terezinha, and Maria Lúcia working in a groupguided us during the day. In the morning we broke into small groups to study and internalize the contents of “The Guide to Franciscan Discernment.” In the afternoon, we began to develop our Strategic Plan for the Area, which will be completed at the next Assembly.

“IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES GIVE THANKS, BECAUSE THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD...” (I Thessalonians 5:18)

 

asbrasile 07Sisters Terezinha, Julia, Goretti, Marta, and Antonieta praying in the chapel“For me, the Assembly is always a time of grace, when I recharge my energy as Sisters from all the different communities gather together... I am certain that the Guide to Franciscan Discernment will increasingly become a part of my daily life. As I go through the process, I will be more open to hearing a God who speaks in the depths of silence, in the people around me, in event and symbols, and in different realities. This Assembly provided me with moments of gathering, prayer, reflection, and learning...  I felt that, though the journey is demanding, and despite our small number, we are motivated by the hope that the Charism will continue -- and by the happiness of belonging to this religious family.” (Sr. Thalyta Pereira Lima).

asbrasile 06Sisters Maria Helena, Thalyta, Helena Paula, Maria Lúcia, Bernadete, and Tânia praying in the chapel“...WHOEVER HUMBLES HIMSELF LIKE THIS CHILD IS THE GREATEST IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.” (Matthew 18:4)

“I reflected on the Guide to Franciscan Discernment, which is based on the Franciscan values of Conversion, Contemplation, Poverty, and Minority.  This was a very rich experience for me, as these values are like a Light that helps us release the Healing Energy of Christ in Poor and Suffering Humanity.” (Sr. Marta Gomes Pedrosa)

asbrasile 05Decoration in the Casa São José chapelOn Sunday, March 2, our day began with the Celebration of the Eucharist at the Frances Schervier Training Center -- led by Father Nelson Alves de Oliveira with the participation of the Residential Sonho Dourado community. Then we returned to our home to prepare a festive lunch as each Sister contributed her talents. We enjoyed a delicious barbecue, and the radiant sun and beautiful afternoon invited us to take a dip in the pool. At the end of the afternoon, we gathered again for an assessment and prayer as we concluded our Area Assembly.

The Assembly helped each of us to rebuild ourselves personally -- and all of us to rebuild as a community. We had moments of reunion, much happiness, and prayer. The sharing, the different experiences, our common gifts, all helped our Assembly to be a meaningful experience.

 

 

asbrasile 08Sisters Bernadete and Terezinha serving dessert asbrasile 10Father Nelson, Sister Julia and Sister Tânia

asbrasile 09Sisters Lécia and Thalyta enjoying the pool

 

  Sister Lécia José da Silva

Published: April 8, 2014

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