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General Conference, Day 5

On the first day of the General Conference we had glimpses of the present reality of the Congregation across the globe. Since then we have been looking toward the future, and today it felt as if we were leaning further into that reality. Led by the Sisters from Notre-Dame-des-Apôtres Region, we began with a spirited prayer that invited us to move forward together and prepared us for presentations on the international novitiate and next August’s forum.

A core committee of Sisters has been researching and reflecting on what would be needed to create an International novitiate that is intercultural and intergenerational. Sister Ona Bessette shared the fruits of the committee’s work. Key to their vision is formation by a team that is itself intercultural and intergenerational. The committee also made recommendations to the General Leadership Team about what should be considered in choosing the novitiate’s location, language, and program. We responded with questions, of course, but also with excitement and gratitude for the careful work that has been done so far. As Sister Ona commented, our sharing was thoughtful and hopeful.

We were also excited to hear from Sister Ercilia that plans for the forum on the theme of decolonizing the Congregation are beginning to take shape. A committee with a representative from each province and region has worked with herself, Jeanne-Marie Rugira, and our Justice Network Coordinator Jessica Ramos, to identify challenging themes and presenters from varied backgrounds. In the next few weeks forms for registering will be made available to Sisters and Associates. We expressed the hope that some presentations will be made available virtually for those who cannot attend in person.

The day ended with joy and great gratitude to all those who made our time together possible. We were happy that the technology worked so successfully, but we will be even happier to greet one another in person in June.