Every Thursday, the Daughters of St. Paul throughout the world pray and offer their sacrifices with the intention that “the Lord of the harvest” will send good workers into his harvest. This morning, we placed on the altar a basket containing the names of all the young women our sisters are accompanying in their vocational discernment. During evening prayer, we spoke aloud the names of each of these young women (about 150 of them), entrusting them to the Lord and to the prayers of all our sisters.
Before the Eucharistic Liturgy, Sr. Ancy John Vallayil, who is celebrating her birthday today, was asked to give a brief synopsis of her vocation story. She did this in a simple and touching way, highlighting the faith of her parents and her family, the “womb” in which her vocation was born, and also the role the written word played in her choice of a Congregation. In fact, she came to know our Institute through a small advertisement in her local newspaper describing the apostolate of the Daughters of St. Paul. She carefully clipped out the article and kept it for three years. Then, through another advertisement, she learned that the FSPs would be visiting her part of the country to meet the local young women. Sr. Ancy’s experience convinced us more than ever of how important it is to “sow seeds” through all the instruments of communication, leaving each individual free to respond to God in his/her own way.
Today our work took on a new aspect: for the first time, we met in intercontinental groups to determine how to “redesign” various areas of the Pauline life on the congregational level. We gave privilege to: the transforming power of the Word of God in our life and fraternal relations; pastoral work for vocations; the sharing of our charism with the laity; improving the service of authority and our commitment to obedience; and the criteria necessary to make our communities “livable” by fostering a balance among the “four wheels” in our communitarian and apostolic life. In our general assembly we reached an initial convergence of ideas concerning common lines of action to pursue so as to carry out a concrete and sustainable journey in the years leading up to our 10th General Chapter.
We will be dedicating a full day to the area of the apostolate and administration as a preparation for the continental meetings programmed for this sector in 2011 and 2012.