From 22nd July – 7th August 2013 our 30th General Chapter took place in Larne, Northern Ireland. Forty-five delegates from around the world gathered for an eight-day Retreat from 13th – 21st July. The Chapter opened on the evening of 22nd July and during the following days the delegates discussed and reflected on what had been happening in the Congregation over the past six years. They also elected the Superior General and Council and planned the direction of the Congregation for the next six years.
For the photos click HERE. Below are the UPDATES that were posted during the Chapter.
Update 7 – 5th August
The final days of our Chapter are drawing to a close. For the past few days we have been discussing key issues that will be carried forward for the next six years. We have been enriched by the experience of coming together and sharing the stories of our lives. We recognized that, despite our diverse cultures, there is a deep bond that unites us as daughters of Mary Aikenhead. We prayed and reflected on our founding story, the Scripture passage from Luke’s Gospel on Dives and Lazarus. This reflection energized us to move into our desired future and carry forward the mission of Mary Aikenhead to serve the poor wherever we may be. The delegates have been heartened by the support and messages received from across the globe. For photos click HERE.
Update 6 – 1st August
We are happy to announce that the following sisters have been elected to the General Leadership Team: Sr. Patricia Lenihan, Vicar General, Sr. Mairéad Ní Chuirc, Sr. Winfridah Chileshe, Sr. Patricia Somers. We would also like to thank Sisters Pereka Nyirenda and Mary Judge, the two outgoing team members, for their dedication and service over the last six years. The day of the election was conducted in an atmosphere of prayer and silence which ended in joyful song and dance. For the celebration video click HERE. Today we resumed our discussions looking at the way forward for the Congregation for the next six years. For photos click HERE.
Update 5 – 30th July
We are delighted to announce that Sr. Mary Christian, our 12th Superior General, was re-elected on Sunday July 28th. We are deeply grateful to her for her generosity and availability to serve the Congregation for the next six years. On Monday the delegates enjoyed a day off and on Wednesday 31st will elect the team who will support Sr. Mary in leading the Congregation. Then the work of the Chapter will continue in deciding our direction for the next six years. For photos click HERE
Update 4 – 25th July
Over the past few days we have journeyed by image and word to all parts of the Congregation. On Tuesday we listened to the reports from the General Leadership Team, England/Scotland and Malawi. On Wednesday we went to five countries on three different continents – Ireland, Nigeria, California/Venezuela and Zambia. Each Region creatively presented their report expressed through their own culture. To get a taste of the Zambian presentation click HERE. It was amazing and humbling to hear about our diverse ministries yet there is a passion we hold in common to make a difference in the lives of the poor. On Thursday, Joyce Meyer PBVM, in her inspiring presentation, challenged us to reflect on the changing world and our role as women religious in making a difference. For photos click HERE
Update 3 – 23rd July
Our Chapter started on the evening of 22nd July which marked the 155th Death Anniversary of our Foundress Mary Aikenhead. We were mindful that as we were at the Opening Ritual, many Sisters were also gathering at the grave side of Mary Aikenhead in Donnybrook. Our Superior General Mary Christian officially opened the Chapter at the end of her address. We were moved by the diverse symbols brought by Sisters from different countries where we are. We prayed and reflected together on the quality of presence required from each of us as we participate in the Chapter. For the next few days, we have entered the listening phase of the Reports from different parts of the Congregation in order that we understand the reality in which our Sisters live and work. For photos click HERE.
Update 2 – 21st July
This evening at 5pm the delegate’s retreat ended with a Mass of the Holy Spirit for the opening of the Chapter. There was much singing and dancing as the sisters celebrated the end of the retreat and gave thanks for the 8 days of quiet and reflection under the guidance of their excellent retreat directors. Tomorrow morning they will gather again and celebrate the 155th anniversary of the death of our foundress Mary Aikenhead. They will be looking forward to hearing Sr Maureen Delaney rsc from Australia talk about the woman who links our two Congregations. The delegates will then gather in the evening at 7.30pm for an Opening Ritual and then the Formal Opening of the 30th General Chapter. For photos click HERE.
Update 1 – 13th July
For the past week sisters have been arriving in Ireland from all over the world to gather for the RSCs 30th General Chapter. Today they all travelled to Larne and the beautiful setting of Drumalis Retreat and Conference Centre. There was great excitement as sisters greeted each other – some who had never met before and some who were meeting again after a long time. After supper the delegates and Retreat Directors met for a short introduction from Srs Anna and Margaret Rose, both Cross and Passion Sisters, who live and work in Drumalis. This was followed by a ‘Welcome’ from Sr Mary Christian the Superior General and finally an Opening Reflection from Sr Elizabeth Ryan FCJ, the Retreat Team Leader. Each delegate then went to meet their Director. Now the delegates have entered into the silence of this beautiful place for the next 8 days. We ask you to remember them in prayer during this special time. For photos click HERE.