The Intra-Congregational Vocation Formation Team Meeting took place in Nigeria September 13-17, 2010. Sisters of Charity from Nigeria, Zambia, Ireland, England/Scotland, California/Venezuela and Australia gathered at the Abbe Louis Bautain Retreat Center, Ijebu-Itele, Ogun State. See the video of some of the participants on the Videos page.
We were given a warm welcome by the sisters in the Nigerian Region with the Kola-nut ritual, symbol of unity and life. “He who brings kola brings life.”
During the meeting a process of discernment helped the team to develop Principles for an Adult Model of Formation. With sensitivity to the variety of cultures present, we agreed to allow the formation program to evolve in each place in the spirit of the Ignatian principle “according to the times, places and circumstances”. We also identified and reviewed the non-negotiables of our RSC charism, lifestyle and Ignatian tradition on which all formation will be based. These non-negotiables are:
1. Fostering union of minds and hearts
2. Prayer and Ignatian spirituality as central to our lives
3. Trust in Divine Providence
4. A love for and an ability to walk with the poor in ministry
5. Ability to take risks in the spirit of the Mary Aikenhead
Our meeting was enriched by the cultural diversity of sisters present as well as the lived experience of sisters who had experience doing formation with women and so we attempted to ground our program in reality.
With reference to our 5 year strategic plan, we continued to meet deadlines with regard to tasks.
After enjoying the warm hospitality of the sisters of St. Louis for the week, we returned to our various regions./provinces/countries to continue developing our formation programs to meet the needs of women of today.
The sisters in attendance were: Linda Ferrington and Libbey Byrne (Australia), Ann Marie McGeever (Ireland), Jacinta Boland (England/Scotland), Teresa Helena Muzeta and Winfreda Chileshi (Zambia), Justina Nelson and Brid Greville (Nigeria), Kathleen Bryant (California/Venezuela) and Patricia Lenihan (General Leadership Team).
Back row – Veronica Openibo SHCJ (Facilitator), Jacinta Boland, Winfrida Chileshe, Linda Ferrington, AnnMarie McGeever, Patricia Lenihan.
Front row – Brid Greville, Theresa Helena Muzeta, Kathleen Bryant, Justina Nelson, Libbey Byrne.