That’s how we would like to think of the event which took place at St Joseph’s convent, Hackney on 10th of September. On that occasion the new Leadership Team for the English/Scottish Province was commissioned for the coming three years.
So much has happened in the time since the previous team was commissioned – in the Church, in society and in our own Province. Although some of the challenges are the same, new ones have emerged. So as we begin this new period the invitation is to look at the world in which we live in as creative a way as possible, responding to the challenges positively and identifying new possibilities.
Sister Mary Christian, our Congregational Leader, led the Commissioning Rite. The commissioning of the new team took place in the context of a liturgy which had three parts. First the outgoing team members (Srs Jacinta Boland, Provincial, Rita Dawson, Pat Kenny, and Jacinta Rankin – Sr Frances Guiney, the fifth member died last November while serving on the team) were acknowledged for their enormous contribution to the life of the Province and the development of ministry. Then the new team members: Srs Jacinta Boland, (Provincial Leader) Rita Dawson, Geraldine O’Connor, Jacinta Rankin and Patricia Byrne (Assistants) were called to accept the ministry of leadership.
The third part of the liturgy was about the whole province. It challenged us all to have hope in the Lord of the road to Emmaus who confronted the fears of the disciples and revealed to them that he was risen. A reflection on that reading used on the day explores the feelings, hopes and realities of discipleship, serving in often difficult and messy situations. Here is an extract from the reflection:
That very day a group of them were on their way into a common future… As they walked into the future they talked about all the happenings among them…
“We thought it would be simpler
We thought our choices would be clearer
We thought our values and priorities would be more evident …
We thought that our conflicts, doubts and confusion would lessen …”
And God said “How slow you are as a group. How hard it is for you to trust. Have I not promised from the beginning to be with you, to sustain you and to continually reveal my plans to hearts that are OPEN?”
Scattered as we are in communities from Scotland to Bristol one of the most precious gifts we receive on Province days such as this is the time we get to spend together. There is never enough time for all the catching up that has to be done and so we spent pleasant times over lunch and tea breaks enjoying each other’s company and telling the story of where we are today.
The Provincial Team: Srs. Patricia Byrne, Rita Dawson, Jacinta Boland,
Jacinta Rankin & Geraldine O’Connor