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Thursday, 05 August 2021 08:48

“Being Sisters, Being Brothers. Consecrated Life At Service Of Fraternity In A Wounded World”

A joint online Assembly of representatives of the Union of Women’s General Superiors (UISG) and the Union of Men’s General Superiors was held May 26 to May 28.  It was a truly important time marking a stage in the evolving synodal journey that we men and women religious are also called to make in response to the calls coming to us from the Magisterium of Pope Francis and by the communal nature of the Church.  A joint online Assembly of representatives of the Union of Women’s General Superiors (UISG) and the Union of Men’s General Superiors was held May 26 to May 28.  It was a truly important time marking a stage in the evolving synodal journey that we men and women religious are also called to make in response to the calls coming to us from the Magisterium of Pope Francis and by the communal nature of the Church.
It was a great joy for me to represent the UISG as a delegate and share the desires for this time we are experiencing with my other sisters and brothers.  It was a blessed occasion of transformation and growth.
The Assembly theme “Becoming Sisters, Becoming Brothers.  Consecrated Life at Service of Fraternity in a Wounded World” helped all those present to a deep reflection on how we consecrated people are called today to take upon ourselves a wounded humanity, starting with the awareness of our personal, community and institutional fragility.  We reaffirmed that the humanity we share places us at the service of each other and allows us to generate life and grow in communion.  Our wounds are the fruitful source of our communion.
The Spirit is delivering to Consecrated Life the prophetic invitation to live fraternity as a sacred space of embracing and caring. We need to identify paths together to be a religious life that is not just outgoing but that bows down before and serves the fragility expressed in the wounded body and torn spirit of so many brothers and sisters.  The divine movement of caring and guarding comes from a heart that sees and is capable of true closeness.  We must recover the prophetic courage to approach those bearing signs of suffering, touch them and care for them, aware that this is the only way to create the possibility of an authentic and generative encounter with the other.
This transformation process is the exercise of continuously going out from ourselves to enter into the life of others and allows us to walk with others by being close to them.  Only if we are close, and Jesus teaches us how God humbly stands along side humanity, can we take on the pace of the other.  We must advance toward the future together, preferring physical, compassionate and existential closeness that helps us feel like the people of God committed to a more just and peaceful world.

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The challenge of synodality then must be embraced as an opportunity to live and participate in the ecclesial communion overcoming the many causes of exclusion that often inhabit even our communities.  The best policy is to be at the service of the common good, making it possible for peoples and nations to live in social friendship.
  We reaffirmed with new awareness the call to be artisans of peace and justice by committing ourselves to build a fraternal world that opens us to the culture of encounter in our communities and makes us united, part of a common identity made of social and cultural ties. It is important to develop a cultural sensitivity that helps us to understand deeply our differences, but to prefer the culture of encounter.
Personally I was especially challenged by the sharing of Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagl, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of People and the President of Caritas International, who encouraged us to take on “the perfection of God, which is his compassion, forgiveness and mercy.”  Only in this way will our witness be truly meaningful and infectious.
May the Lord indicate for us concrete, simple and ordinary paths for growing in this profound human dimension that makes us close to a God who walks humbly



Sr. Nadia Coppa, ASC
General Superior
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