Interview with Casa Schervier

3Casa Schervier Community

Sr. Mariapia, how does the choice of the 2013 Chapter theme, “Set free the healing energy of Christ!” challenge us to live out our charism of healing?
I find the chosen theme to be wonderful and the phrase that expresses it to be incredibly incisive and profound. I believe that at the personal, community and cosmic level, it invites us to become totally open channels. This invites us to facilitate a free circulation of the Love overflowing from the Holy Trinity -- which has generated the whole of Creation -- and has accomplished the Redemption that will bring us all back Home.

I also see Jesus present in myself and in the community, who can finally be touched as well as touch the crowd for which He always has great compassion, person by person, one neighbor at a time, in the ordinary and trivial as well as the larger circumstances of life.

I remember that when I was very young I was moved by an invitation from Chiara Lubich: “… Make sure that no soul touches you in vain!”  Today I translate this through the theme of our upcoming Chapter: “Set free the healing energy of Christ!”

In this way we can reduce our fears for the decreasing number and strength of our Sisters, or for the scant visibility of our ministries to the poor…. I feel part of the Cosmos, imbued by this overflowing Love like any creature, but also privileged for being part of Mother Frances’ family. This family is much larger than the numbers of our Congregational statistics, extending to the Associates and also to friends, relatives, and the Sisters who have been with us for just a few years.

Because of, and thanks to the blessing of our Healing Charism, we are called to be close collaborators with Jesus, who continues to speak in today’s world with a loving gaze, caring gestures, and the words of Life….. and profound healing!

Sr. Silvana, what meaning does the General Chapter have for us, in this historical moment, for our Congregation in 2013 – especially in the context of our cultures and the challenges each Area faces?
2012 was the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and I find that our Chapter, and especially the chosen theme, can become a gift to the Church and all humanity to rediscover and move to action the prophetic impulses, still unfortunately unattended to, if not even deliberately underrepresented, in many of the Council’s documents.

We live in a time full of challenges and extremely rapid change, but I feel that our Charism is as timely as ever. From re-establishing visibility and meaningful relevance to religious life, to the more general challenge of the role of the woman in the Church and society.

4'People all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.' [Luke 6: 16-19]

And you, Sr. Clara?
I think the General Chapter is like a flower from the Holy Spirit for the Church and humanity, which is different each time, always beautiful, both when it is a blossom as well as when it is in full bloom. Just as our lives are.

Sr Gianna, in what way is our upcoming Chapter for you connected to our prophetic call in today’s Church and for the future?
I am really moved by the verb “to set free.” I feel it is closely connected to the moment we live in the Church today, where it is becoming more evident that the Church’s socio-cultural impact and meaning are diminishing.

Instead, I perceive the invitation, as Church myself, to welcome the strong call to “go beyond boundaries,” to “take down the walls of doctrines, and fences of any kind.” As the Scripture theologian Rosanna Virgili says: “Otherwise, the Temple becomes mute; it no longer can make the word of God heard in the world, even though this was its original call.”

I believe that, with its directions, the Chapter can help us find a new significance in order to return among the people, to be where the people are, to share with the people, to not exclude those who have a word different from ours. As Cardinal Martini said: “Do not close the mouth of the prophets.”

I perceive a call to set free and open the doors to science, culture, and the resources of lay people, even when they are non-believers. I find myself thinking about a style of communion in the Church that would also include disagreement, in a way that can be used as an opportunity for growth and progress. I hope and believe that this is the time when women can express their specific way of being, thinking, serving, deciding for and with the Church.

5Sr. Clara Carlitti and Sr. Silvana De Vita

Sr Carla, is there a moment during the previous chapters which continue to bring light to your spirit and your soul? Please share this moment …
My personal experience during the previous Chapters makes me await and see with a certain amount of trepidation and “fear of God” the next General Chapter 2013.

It is very clear to me the experience of great listening and action of the Holy Spirit we lived in Goiania in 2008. At various times I felt its living Presence, as a Live Person, a breath of consolation, advocacy, light, and strength -- in my life, in my ears, in the choices He personally suggested that I make. At the same time, I felt and experienced its Presence among us, among all the Chapter delegates. The Spirit is the first protagonist of the discernment that takes place in that setting. Maybe the chats in the hallways, the sisterly dialogues are helpful too, but, more than anything else, it is the listening to His Voice, which guides our steps as people and as a congregation according to the Plan of the Father. For me the faith in His Presence translated even more into a concrete experience when I would feel inside me a profound peace, at the end of a very difficult session of our work. Today this sense of peace still guides me and gives me light.

This sense of peace makes me believe that if I only remain in an attitude of profound, free, and sincere listening to the Spirit - the gift of the presence of the Risen Lord among His disciples - I can lead my life in the faithful following of the Teacher as well as build new paths toward healing for today’s Church.

Casa Schervier Community

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