On November 23, 2018, Sr. Beata Rudzińska, General Secretary/Councilor and Sr. Angela Marie Mazzeo, General Councilor, participated in the 25th Silver Jubilee of Religious Life of Sr. Speranza Grzebielec. This celebration took place in Nazareth, Israel where Sr. Speranza has been ministering for many years. The date for the Jubilee celebration was specifically chosen to closely coincide with the celebration of the Feastday of our Mother Foundress, Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd.
The Jubilee Mass was celebrated by Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, the current Latin Patriarchal Vicar of Jerusalem and Palestine. Bishop Marcuzzo who previously served as the Patriarchal Vicar in Nazareth is a long-time friend of the Congregation and especially of the Sisters serving in Nazareth.
Joining in the festivities were Sr. Speranza’s parents who had traveled to the Holy Land for this special occasion, as well as good number of invited guests, including priests, Religious Brothers and Sisters from other Congregations and many lay persons with whom the Sisters come in contact in their daily ministry.
A number of years ago, the Sisters started invited members of other Congregations to participate in our Foundress’ feastday. Each year the celebration has grown. This year, the crowd gathered was even larger due to the occasion of Sister’s Jubilee.
After the liturgy, everyone was invited to partake in some refreshments and the decorative and tasty Jubilee cake. In the crowd gathered, you could hear many languages – English, Italian, Polish, Arabic, French, etc. But what was most notable was the spirit of unity and joy that was present.
Sr. Angela Marie Mazzeo
The Sisters at the Generalate hosted an international meeting of the Sisters responsible for the Association of the Holy Family from 3-10 March, 2017. The meeting was attended by Sisters representing all seven Provinces of the Congregation and from the Ukraine Region. Mother Jana Zawieja, Superior General, presided over the meeting.
The aims of the meeting were to determine the current situation of the Association in the various provinces, review the Statutes and formation programs of the Association and above all to listen to the voice of the Church on the pastoral care of families today. The introduction to the last issue took the form of three conferences presented by Father Dr.Jacek Golen, from the University of Lublin. Father Golen spoke on the principles of accompaniment, and the directions and forms of renewal as ways of accompanying engaged couples, married couples and families in the light of the Exhortation Amoris laetitia. The topic of discernment was also very valuable from the point of view of personal formation as well as a means of helping those whom the Sisters who are accompanying, to discern the will of God.
The second speaker, Father Dr. Albert Warso from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, addressed the topic concerning the accompaniment of the young as they prepare to those their vocation in life.
The participants also touched on the issues of formation for the Sisters and the involvement of lay persons in the pastoral care of families as well as the role of the Association in the implementation and continuation of the mission of the Congregation.
The outcome of the week’s work resulted in the sharing of new ideas and concrete actions for better development of the Association and the appreciation of its role in the mission to families, engaged and married couples as well as those living in irregular family situations.
During the summary meeting the sisters expressed their gratitude for having the opportunity to better understand one other and the specifics of the Association in individual countries and the exchange of materials and methods of work.
The Association of the Holy Family of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth is a practical expression of Blessed Frances Siedliska’s desire of including the laity in the Religious Congregation which she founded. The first Statutes of the Association, called the Brotherhood of the Holy Family, were formulated during the life of the Foundress.
Members of the Association receive a solid formation and the possibility of sharing in the spirituality and apostolic mission of the Congregation. Through their efforts to live a life modelled on the example of the Holy Family they witness to Christian values in their family environment. For the Congregation the association is a means for a more widespread presence in the world, especially among families.
At the present time the Association numbers 880 permanent members and several hundred candidates and supporters, who meet in 53 formative groups. They are accompanied by over 60 Sisters. Increasingly, the experienced members are taking responsibility for the formation and apostolic activities of their groups.