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Listening, encouraging, loving and praying
When I stop to think about the healing conference of last June, many thoughts well up in my mind. One of the greatest impressions for me was the wealth and diversity of our healing charism as carried out by our Sisters and Associates around the globe. The enthusiasm, the creativity and the joy of the younger Sisters as they recounted their ministries was especially inspirational. Using the special calendar we have for 2012 has helped me call to mind so many of those ministries.  God the Protector prompts me to think of our Sisters providing a safe haven for refugees. God the Heart Reader called up the image of Sisters and Associates welcoming the women caught up in prostitution.  God the Provider made me see those caring for the physical needs of the poor – the youngest to the oldest receiving food, clothing, haircuts, nursing care.  And the list goes on and on… 

Then, for myself, having passed four score years - - where do I fit into the healing charism? I think I can listen! I can encourage! I can love! And I can pray!

Sr. Marie Clement Edrich, SFP

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To Transfer Divine Energy
To me, to be a healer in today’s world is to be fully open to the present, and to the presence of the Holy Spirit and to transfer that Divine Energy to each person I meet as I continue on the path home to God where healing is found in abundance!

Thomasina Nolan, Associate
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Connecting People with Themselves – and Others
What does it mean to be a healer in today’s world? I think healing is, in many ways, independent of illness, impairment, cure of disease, or death. Healing is a reinterpretation, in a sense, of experience(s) in your life. It is related to wholeness, and wholeness is experienced within oneself and in connection with others. In this sense, healing is mind-body-spirit within the experience of community. This is the essence of what we are trying to do at the Centennial Barn. The International Healing Conference in 2011 was my first experience with the diversity of the Congregation.  My first impression was a sense of warmth, appreciation, and inclusion.  The interaction between the younger and older Sisters was symbolic of the concept of standing on the shoulders of giants, in that younger individuals respectfully acknowledged the great work that the elders had devoted their lives to and, in return, elders offered valuable advice and encouragement.

Rose Aleman - Director, Centennial Barn
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Healing in Action 
Our Healing Conference held many challenges, insights and opportunities for growth.  Fr. Anthony Gittins, CSSp, gave us some practical examples of healing.  The one that spoke to me was evangelization. In the past, when people said, “We need to evangelize,” I could only picture someone on the street preaching. 

The Spirit sent Jesus ‘to bring the good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, to give new sight to the blind, to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the Lord’s year of favor.’ (Luke 4:18-20).  That is God’s agenda for Jesus.  And it is precisely the same agenda that is set before us.   The way Jesus lives his agenda is evangelization.  Jesus IS the good news. He is healing in action -- reconciling in deed, and embracing in the flesh.

Fr. Gittins identified the four essential components which constitute integral evangelization: proclamation, witness, dialogue and liberation. The basic ingredients of Jesus’ healing ministry are encounter, table fellowship, foot washing and boundary crossing.  Fr. Gittins explanation helped me to see how my everyday actions are a form of evangelization. We heal the world by bringing the good news of Jesus to our world!

Karen J. Hartman, S.F.P.

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Be a Transformative Presence
“What does it mean for me, for us, to be instruments of healing in today’s world?” As a society we tend to overlook the structural violence that oppresses so many innocent people around the globe.  This is due in part to the breakdown of systems, which we are experiencing todayTo be instruments of healing one must stand in the midst of chaos and have a mind and attitude that embraces the reality to change and to be open to where the Spirit leads.

I think that when we hold on to fixed views we lose the gift or the insight of seeing the graces and how God is working within us.  To be instruments of healing we need each other.  We cannot do it alone.  As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, ‘the church is church only when we exist for others.”  Together we can do great things.  For me healing is a foretaste of the Kingdom that has not yet come in its fullness.  I believe that all who attended our Conference have the desire to be a transformative presence so that through our mission and charism, our world will be a better place.

Joan Mills, Associate

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An Instrument of God’s Love  
“There are no passengers of Spaceship Earth. Everybody’s crew.” (Marshall McLuhan) Each crew member has a responsibility to be in right relationship with Mother Earth, their Creator, themselves and one another. As followers of Jesus, Francis of Assisi and Mother Frances, our call as healers is to be of service to our broken, wounded world. Our lives are not our own. The gifts and abilities we enjoy are given to us by God so we can reach out to those in need. God’s healing is everywhere and is made concrete by our daily interactions with people. 

During our Healing Conference we were reminded by Anthony Gittins, CSSp that it is easy to speak about and pray for people who are hungry, poor, suffering, lonely, etc.  However, those nameless, faceless people must become a real and tangible person in my daily life. Encounter is imperative. I must move from “generic” to “specific.”  For me, one of the specific ways is offering my services as a guardian. For the last three plus years I have been a legal Guardian for seven people. These are people who are mentally impaired to the point that they cannot take proper care of themselves. Some have no family or friends. In my role I oversee for their care. As Guardian I become an instrument of God’s love and healing by being “a listener, a caring one, a presence, an advocate, and friend.”  And sometimes it is my privilege to sit and pray with them as they make their final journey from Spaceship Earth to the warm embrace of our loving God.

Sr. June Casterton, sfp

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