The meeting of the Superiors of the Blessed Martyred Sisters Province with the Provincial Administration took place in Grodno on November 22, 2021. Sister Alina Furczyk, the Assistant General, also participated in part of the meeting. Since it was not possible for the Sisters to travel to Grodno, the meeting was held online. Thanks to the new technology, s. Agnieszka Romaszko, who serves in the nunciature in London, could also take part in the meeting. After greeting and introducing each other, Sr. Alina briefly introduced the topic of the meeting, presenting the idea of the Synod and sharing her experience of meetings related to the Synod. Sister pointed out that the Synodal way begins in the place where we live and work every day, because the Synod is a way of life, a way of communication, to be a listening Church, able to learn from each other. The Synod is a spiritual journey to which the Church is calling us at this time.

Listening to the voice of the Church and the invitation of Pope Francis, the Sisters, after individual preparation and reflection on the questions given, shared their responses to the questions proposed in the Preliminary Document of the Synod, which could be formulated in the most general terms: how is “walking together” realized today in the Church, in our Congregation, in our community? What steps does the Holy Spirit invite us to take in order to grow in our “going together”?

The meeting was conducted according to a method derived from the Ignatian spirituality and proposed by the Synod. Similar meetings will be held in the communities of the Province. It will also be an opportunity for the Sisters to practically learn community discernment through deep listening to one another and listening together to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

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Sister Angela Marie Mazzeo, Superior General, is staying in Poland from October 1 to December 20, 2021 for a visitation in the Most Holy Name of Jesus Province. This is the first part of the Visitation of this Province. Sister Angela Marie began her stay in Poland with a meeting with a large part of the Sisters in Kalisz. It was a pilgrimage to the Shrine of St. Joseph. Then Sister visited two big communities in Warsaw, as well as communities in Łódź, Rawa Mazowiecka, Ząbki, Lublin, Wytyczno, Żdżary, Kolumna, Łaźniewo, Henryków and Supraśl.

The meeting with the Sisters in each community is an opportunity to get to know each Sister personally, to talk individually and in community, to share experiences of life, faith, and ministry, to learn about the apostolic work of the Sisters, and the needs of the Province.

We pray for the light of the Holy Spirit for Sr. Angela Marie and for each Sister of the Warsaw Province.

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Sr. Alina Furczyk (General Council), Sr. Grażyna Rocławska (Australia), Sr. Marietta Osińska (USA), Sr. Amata Nowaszewska (Poland, MHNJ), and Sr. Beata Rudzińska (Krakow/JGSh) met online on October 19, 2021 to begin their work on revising the procedures for the nomination process that takes place prior to elections of a general administration. The first part of the meeting was also attended by Sr. Angela Marie Mazzeo, Superior General.

The meeting began with the communal prayer to the Holy Spirit, which is suggested to be recited during the synodal works. It was an invitation to listen together more attentively and deeply to what the Spirit is saying to the Church and, at the same time, to actively engage in the implementation of synodality in our Congregation. The purpose of the meeting was determined by the General Conference as the implementation of the decree number 4 of the last General Chapter: That the General Administration will assign a group of sisters to develop a new nomination process before the next general chapter. It is to think through and develop new procedures to involve all the Sisters in the discernment process, to allow space for listening to one another, in order to to select those who would best respond to the calls of the Church and the Congregation at that moment.

The Sisters shared their experiences and determined the tasks to be completed by the next meeting. The results of the entire year’s work will be presented at the next General Conference.

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On October 9-10, the Synod “For a Synodal Church: communion, participation, mission” began in Rome and will continue for the next three years. In convening the Synod, the Holy Father called upon the entire People of God to join in the process of listening to what God is speaking to the Church. During the opening session of the Synod, the Holy Father said:

And so, brothers and sisters, let us experience this moment of encounter, listening and reflection as a season of grace that, in the joy of the Gospel, allows us to recognize at least three opportunities.  First, that of moving not occasionally but structurally towards a synodal Church, an open square where all can feel at home and participate.  The Synod then offers us the opportunity to become a listening Church, to break out of our routine and pause from our pastoral concerns in order to stop and listen.  To listen to the Spirit in adoration and prayer.  Today how much we miss the prayer of adoration; so many people have lost not only the habit but also the very notion of what it means to worship God!  To listen to our brothers and sisters speak of their hopes and of the crises of faith present in different parts of the world, of the need for a renewed pastoral life and of the signals we are receiving from those on the ground.  Finally, it offers us the opportunity to become a Church of closeness.  Let us keep going back to God’s own “style”, which is closeness, compassion and tender love.  God has always operated that way.  If we do not become this Church of closeness with attitudes of compassion and tender love, we will not be the Lord’s Church.  Not only with words, but by a presence that can weave greater bonds of friendship with society and the world.  A Church that does not stand aloof from life, but immerses herself in today’s problems and needs, bandaging wounds and healing broken hearts with the balm of God.

We encourage you to keep the Synod in your prayers and, insofar as you are able, to contribute to the work of the Synod.

The official website of the Synod:

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From August 28 to September 4, 2021, a meeting of the General Administration with the new provincial / regional administrations was held in Rome. Sisters from Belarus, Ukraine and the Province of Jesus the Good Shepherd were able to attend the meeting. The Philippines Province was represented by the Provincial Superior, Sr. Greta Marie Gallo, but unfortunately the rest of the Sisters were unable to travel from the Philippines. Due to the lockdown, the Australian administration was also unable to be present.

The Sisters spent the first day of the meeting in the Motherhouse at Machiavelli in Rome, exploring the theme of authority and obedience in the life of Mother Foundress. Sisters had time for personal reflection and meeting with Mother as well as sharing their experience with the group. For four days, the Sisters participated in a workshop led by Brother Emili Turu, a Marist Brother, deepening their knowledge of different communication styles, nonviolent communication, appreciative inquiry, dialogue, along with the topic of power and authority. During this program, the Sisters were able to work in groups and exchange experiences among the provinces, as well as work in their administration group, and meet with Sr. Angela Marie Mazzeo, Superior General and the Sisters of the General Council. The Sisters also participated in the Wednesday general audience and Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. This day of being with the Holy Father and praying in the heart of the Church was a reminder of our mission in the Church and the charism of prayer and our devotion for the Church and the Pope.

We are grateful to God that despite the difficulties and uncertainties of the situation, the meeting was possible, and the Sisters could strengthen each other in their faith, acquire new skills and knowledge, but above all, gain a broader perspective of the ministry in their respective Provinces in the context of the entire Congregation and the calls of the Church.

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– holiday and other pastoral initiatives focusing on the family

The beautifully located coastal town of Benicassim in Spain has a lot to offer its residents, as well as those who come here for their vacations. Is there anything else that can be added to the wide range of summer opportunities? Trying to live our charism every day, and also following the thought of Pope Francis who invited us to live the Year of the Family in the Church, we decided to prepare holiday meetings for married couples. We chose four Thursday evenings in August. The meetings had a common theme: See yourself and your spouse through the eyes of God. Each meeting included:

  • A conference prepared mainly on the basis of the teaching of St. John Paul II on marriage and the family,
  • Group work (discussion on topics heard during the conference, testimonies),
  • Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, ending with an individual blessing of each married couple,
  • Agape.

The conferences were prepared successively by: Sr. Katarzyna Nowak, Fr. Luis Olivier (responsible in the diocese for the pastoral care of families), Paz Ferrin (wife and mother, responsible for the evangelization community Emmaus) and Sr. Jana Zawieja.

A somewhat risky proposition. Some of the more skeptical asked who would come on a summer evening (7 to 9 p.m.) for such a serious meeting? Others suggested changing the month. We decided to take a chance without looking at the numbers. Even if one married couple came, it is worth dreaming! We prepared posters that were hung in various places in Benicassim. Information was also sent to the diocese and posted on various internet platforms. We embraced the whole project with prayer. To our great joy and surprise, more than 50 people, married and engaged couples came to the first meeting. Among those who came were people from our parish, but also from various other places in our diocese, as well as tourists from more distant places, such as Madrid. It was the same for the following evenings. Some couples attended all the meetings, some attended two, three or one. And as some were heading home after their vacation, new faces were appearing.

What captivates about the Spanish people is their spontaneity and readiness to actively participate in the offered meetings. The content of the conferences was received with openness. The group work was very lively and the fruits of the sharing presented at the end were enriching for all of us. The silence during adoration, interrupted only by the quiet singing of the canons, was moving. At the end, when the spouses and fiancées came up for their individual blessing, many were touched. A simple agape at the end allowed the conversations to continue, in a more relaxed style. And since the Spanish like to talk, the last participants were leaving around 10 pm.

Several married couples from Benicassim and the surrounding area have expressed a desire to continue their marriage formation by meeting more regularly with each other (perhaps twice a month). We will gladly respond to this invitation! The more so because last year one couple asked for such spiritual accompaniment. The meetings were prepared by Sr. Katarzyna and Fr. Luis. Now the group of participants will grow significantly, and Sr. Jana will join the leaders. Many people also asked to continue the idea of summer meetings in some way. So, August was not such a bad idea and it is already worth thinking about the next year.

Our suggestions for married and engaged couples do not end here. Starting in September we will begin a series of biblical formation meetings (one meeting per month), and the protagonists of the next meetings will be married couples of the Old and New Testament. Sister Katarzyna, Sister Jana and Fr. Luis are responsible for the whole event and for some of the conferences. This time we have also invited many other people as speakers, among them priests and lay people.

We are very happy that the tiny seeds thrown timidly (for instance because of language and cultural challenges) are bearing fruit. Just like the many interesting initiatives for children and youth for which Sr. Michalina and Sr. Karolina are responsible. With faith and hope, we constantly put into the hands of Jesus our five loaves and two fish, and He blesses, distributes and provides enough for everyone!

Prepared by Sr. Jana Zawieja

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On August 21, 2021 in Nowogródek, Sr. Imelda professed her perpetual vows into the hands of Sr. Filotea Tichonowicz, Provicial Superior. Sister took the mystery: of Crucified Love. Most Rev. Aleksander Kaszkiewicz was the main celebrant of the solemn Eucharist.

Grateful to God for Sr. Imelda’s life and vocation, we ask for her joy in her daily commitment to God and for all our Sisters in Belarus.

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Two new candidates began their affiliate program on August 21, 2021 in Nowogródek. It is a great joy to see our Congregation growing in Belarus as the community of the affiliates grows in number. We ask for prayer for new vocations in all parts of our Congregation.

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On August 15, 2021, Sr. Anna Maria and Sr. M. Zofia professed their first vows into the hands of Sr. Teofania Migowska, Provincial Superior. The ceremony was held in Ostrzeszów, the novitiate house of Warsaw Province.

The Mass was celebrated by Most Rev. Damian Bryl, the bishop of Kalisz diocese. We thank God for the gift of these Sisters’ vocation and we ask for the graces needed for them and their families.

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