MARY WARD: A WOMAN WHO
DESIRED HER INSTITUTE TO BE ONE FOR MISSION
This same Institute is coming into its own among us in these last years. Each member stands up to be counted and claims her identity as part of this original dream of Mary Ward.
The health pandemic has highlighted the numerous other pandemics that we have learned to live with, along with the multiple disconnections among ourselves, between brothers and sisters, between creation, and with the Original Breath (Ruah). That we are part of a global village has now become crystal clear, and questions rise among us: Will we emerge from this more human? Who will keep vigil for the women and men who are now even poorer, who will keep vigil for a devastated Mother Earth? A complex problem indeed… and going it alone will get us nowhere.
We need the other, to be for each other, to be artisans together, with and for this one mission. Delving together into the weave of our joint history of IBVM/CJ we have discovered and borne witness to that which identifies and binds us into one: fidelity, courage, resilience, passion for our God, passion for mission, freedom, justice, and sincerity. The richness of our patrimony and congregational identity has its roots deep in the Gospel and it now behoves us to carry it forward, to recreate and bring it to life in this changed reality.
As keepers of this treasure, we must weave together a new pattern as we respond to the call for reunification and mission. This newness will evolve in our coming together, connecting, valuing gifts and talents, and through the appreciation of the practical and spiritual richness of each of our members.
The mix and blending of intercultural dialogue will most surely bring about new small beginnings that will be rich in colour and textures; that will give depth, body and substance to the whole. It will enable going forward to where roads meet, in order to weave new patterns together with others, for the common good.
The unification is a moment in development that begets new energies and possibilities for mission. Let us ensure that the magic of reunion does contribute to the transformation of relationships and connection between ourselves, with others and with creation. The lives of impoverished people and that of our planet clamours for action, and we, as a Body, must and will impact and make a difference. This is a huge challenge that we are called to meet head on.
With eyes fixed on Jesus of Nazareth and with ears attuned to Mary, who tells us that “it is the hour” to “do what He tells you” we feel ourselves impelled, animated, and challenged to fill the jars with the waters of hope, caring, tolerance, and eco-justice, compassion solidarity… to enable the miracle of ‘new wine’ that unity promises.