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Wednesday, 25 April 2012 01:56

The Fire Continues to Burn

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Three of us from the Albany Affiliate chapter had the pleasure of attending the Maryknoll Sisters Centennial Symposium: Hearts on Fire on April 20, 21. We were warmly welcomed as per usual by the Sisters who always greet us as though we were family.

Invocation Native Hawaiian Chant by Britina Kirway, MMInvocation Native Hawaiian Chant by Britina Kirway, MMThe Invocation Native Hawaiian Chant by Britina Kirway , MM, opened the Symposium. Immediately the diversity of the MK Sisters is evident; in the music and dance, in the symbols and in the faces. They celebrate diversity yet their words always focus on what is shared throughout all cultures not what is different.

Friday morning's speakers Joanne Jaruko Doi, MM and Antoinette Gutzler, MM spoke of the Collective Memory of all women, of all cultures, thru all times; who heard the voices of the heart and did what needed to be done. They spoke of the Courage and Radiance of the women who accepted the challenge, and moved forward tapping into the depth of God's love. They moved forward with the grace of a World Wide Heart that also included the Grace of Doubt that allowed them to question all, but continue to trust in God.


Maryknoll Sisters at PodiumElizabeth Johnson, CSJ spoke after lunch, her topic was: Mary of the Magnificat: A Heart on Fire. Here Mary was presented as a woman, poor and oppressed, one who will always stand beside all women, one who knows their pain. We were reminded that Mary's "YES" was not an act of submission, but freely given.

Saturday morning's session began with an opening prayer: a simplified version of Corazon del Cielo, Corazon de la Tierra - a prayer written by Helen Werner, MM. We felt even more connected after praying this prayer, as our Affiliate group is very connected to Sr. Helen and the people of the Guatemala region.

Mission Spirituality: An Adventure in Faith was Melinda Ropa's, MM. theme. She commented that while on mission one becomes a Pastoral Artisan, one who will live the Beatitudes by providing what is needed to improve the human condition; food, clean water and health care. A few verses of a song from Weston Priory, When Bread is on Every Table All will Know Jesus has Risen, strengthened the idea that life is a living sacrament, truly an adventure in faith.

Maryknoll Sisters in Circle DanceThe symposium was filled with the joy of celebrating Life in Mission. One hundred years of walking alongside others, giving, receiving, and living life to it's fullest. The smiles on all those in attendance were an affirmation for the Maryknoll Sisters and their ability to spread their spirit of mission, joy and hospitality. Thank you Sisters, we are always inspired and filled with your infectious spirit whenever we visit.

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