Vale Sr Margaret Mary (Peter) Wilson fcJ

peterwilsonfcj.jpgToday, 20 December 2016, the FCJ Sisters in Australia, together with all the Sisters of the Society linked through prayer, and their friends, farewelled Sr Peter Wilson fcJ at the Genazzano College Chapel.

Sr Peter was most recently a resident at St. Catherine’s Aged Care Facility, where she continued, despite the frailty of age, to bring joy and companionship to those around her. True to her profession and calling, Sr Peter remarked: “What brings me joy as an FCJ Sister is when we gather as a community or at larger FCJ occasions, there exists beautiful bonding which is our companionship with Jesus and with others.” I learned at the Vigil held yesterday on 19 November for Peter, a few outstanding things about her. One was that putting others’ needs ahead of her own was something she did so naturally right til the end. Another was her beautiful sense of joie-de-vivre and fun, which her family and fellow-FCJs so readily recounted with fondness.

It is always a sad time when a life ends, and I express my sympathies to the family of Peter, as well as to the FCJ Sisters, but as we remember during this Advent time in the lead up to Christmas, God is with us, and it is for that I am so thankful and certain of Peter’s peace and delight.

Sr Peter Wilson fcJ was born, Margaret Mary Wilson in June 1932. She made her First Profession on 4 September 1953. In her long life, she was missioned to the Indigenous people in Broome, WA; Norwood in Adelaide, SA; Frankston, VIC and Shepparton, VIC. She was reunited with God on Wednesday 14 December 2016.

 

Day 22 of #31DayswithIgnatius

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#Day22of31WithIggy: The #Feast of St #MaryMagdalene. Today’s image started off as a prayer for #life; that we may see through the day with all things that bring life. (#Consolation, in Ignatian terms) It proceeded onto a meditation on Mary Magdalene and while at the tomb after Jesus’ death, she approached a man who she thought was a gardener. On hearing that Jesua was no longer there, she began to cry (#desolation); until this man to whom she went revealed himself to her by calling her by name.

I’m so thankful that @franciscus #PopeFrancis has elevated this day to a feast of the same level as the other apostles. Pray for us, Mary Magdalene. Apostle to the Apostles and exemplary woman of the Church.

#IgnatianSpirituality #31dayswithIgnatius #saints #discernment #art #christian #Jesus #fcj #patronsaint #women #woman #church #leadership #womenleaders #girlpower

In celebration of Ignatian Spirituality, and to mark the feast of St Ignatius of Loyola (31 July), I have taken on the challenge of posting a picture a day that speaks to me of the lessons learned from all things ‘Ignatian’; including ‘finding God in all things.’ Here it is, as posted on Instagram (@fcjAustralia).

Too Pretty to be a Nun?

Angela Svec has been told she’s too pretty to be a nun.

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Image via Huffington Post

But on the Huffington Post blog, she writes:

Their questions have forced me to confront my self-image. Who do I see in the mirror? How do I appear in God’s eyes? How does one affect the other?

Angela Svec is a visually stunning woman. And it does make you stop and think. But her questions remain true of all of us: who do I see in the mirror? How does God see me? And what is the difference?

Insight: On Religious Vocation

Sr Deborah Borneman, a sister of Sts Cyril and Methodius (an organisation of just 81 sisters) has a wonderful attitude toward religious vocation promotion, which I think is worth sharing.

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Religious life is not about numbers, it’s about relationships. | Deborah Borneman

To read the interview, please click here.

And another thing, do your relationships reflect your call to life?

Four Voices, One Message

Words do not convey the gratitude and joy I feel for having stumbled upon this jewel-of-an-example of what good humanity can achieve. If you watch one video today, make it this one.

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Beyond (L-R): Dechen Shak-Dagsay, Tina Turner, Regula Curti and Sawani Shende-Sathaye.

“Beyond” is a compilation of song and prayer featuring four different voices that convey one shared universal truth.

The opening lines say:

A compassionate heart takes the fear away and gives inner strength. It is vital to educate the heart beyond yourself. The true meaning of life is love. By giving, you find true happiness.

You can watch the video here through SBS.

Image of Veronica: What does tenderness look like?

I found a postcard someone sent me, here it is below with some text I added:

What does tenderness look like?
When have you wiped the face of another, sunken in their suffering?
Have you let another soothe your aches? Have you received their kindness with graciousness?

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Sunday 11 May 2014: Vocations, Witness to the Truth

Good Shepherd Sunday, Watanabe Sadao washi | Keeping-Company.com

Image: Good Shepherd washi, Watanabe Sadao as seen on BowdenCollections.com

Good Shepherd Sunday has over the years become a day where the Church prays together for vocations, especially religious vocations and those to the priesthood.

Pope Francis has set the theme for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations as: Vocations, Witness to the Truth.

Click here to read the letter on this theme, that was sent to all the FCJ Sisters in the province, as well as to the Companions in Mission.

For related links

Message from Pope Francis
Catholic Vocations (Archdiocese of Melbourne)

 

Keeping Company Creates Community

I was delighted to receive something in the mail, and especially happy because it was Pope Francis’ new book, The Church of Mercy: A Vision for the Church (Loyola Press, 2014). I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I love my job!

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Thank you, Loyola Press!

We all know what a fan I am of dear Francis and I am eager to get to know more about him from his thoughts and writing. But what’s touched me most is the thoughtfulness I have been shown in the simple gesture of a personalised greeting. It is my firm belief that sincere and honest sharing or dialogue between two parties is the work of the Spirit, and I also believe that through the other’s keeping company with me (and vice versa), a spirit of community is formed.

Email, instant messaging and “likes” are how we seem to communicate with one another these days,  so it feels extra special to receive something handwritten. It says, “I think of you in the choice of paper or card on which to write.” If it is a greeting card,  it says, “I take you into consideration as I choose the design or message within.” If not, then at the very least, written correspondence says, “I think of you as I form the words in my mind and place them on to the page.” Typing/swyping has its advantages in the ability to delete what you’ve written before you hit ‘send.’

Before I sink into this generous gift-of-a-book, let me leave you with the following to consider:
• When was the last time I received a personal letter or gift in the mail?
• When was the last time I sent something; either to surprise someone or for no reason at all, other than to keep in touch?
• Is there a card, message or letter for me to send, that has been put off?
• Are there people in my life who I can write to,  just to say, “hello”?

There’s a high chance you’ll feel good sending something, and more probable still, someone’s day will brighten. Who knows: you may receive something back in return! Try it out within the next few days.

From the Archives: Mary came to Jesus in the dark

Originally published 1 April 2013. Reposted 20 April 2014 for your reflection.

Easter Moon Photo: Geralyn Anderson, “Easter Moon Through the Trees” on Easter Sunday Morning (2013)

The Rev David Lewicki has the following reflection to read on the reality of Easter. He makes the point that the women who went to the tomb did so in the dark.

Biblical scholar Raymond Brown is quoted:

In this [John’s] Gospel, where light and darkness play such a role, darkness lasts until someone believes in the risen Jesus.

Yet it is also true that faith travels in darkness. Many people will not experience the lightness of Easter or the hope it proclaims. Illness, disease and malady are in our faces. Death and destruction continues. But still we are challenged as people of the gospel, “to walk by faith and not by sight,” as the song goes. There is darkness around. It is still dark. But nonetheless, our beloved friend in Jesus still needs us, wants us and calls us out of ourselves to bring light and truth in the world.

And so I share some symbols of Christ’s light from a dawn service I attended over Easter.

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Keeping Company

May the courage of Mary be ours, may she show us the ways of joy and peace. And may our goings-out be in the warmth and gentle glow of Christ’s light. Peace.

From the Archives: Veronica

Originally published in 2013. Updated version: Good Friday, 18 April 2014.

A quick Google search of “Veronica’s Veil” will bring up many images of the imprint of the face of Jesus on cloth, or of a woman holding out a cloth, such as this one by Hans Memling, c. 1470.

KEEPING-COMPANY.COM | Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus
Source: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus via Faith in the 21st Century

For this post however, I have deliberately chosen the one above because of the interaction between the two main figures. Notice the way in which Veronica faces Jesus front-on. She looks at him intently and he too, returns and holds her gaze. Furthermore, this image captures the moment of their meeting. Veronica is not exhibiting the shroud or veil on which the imprint of Jesus’ face as if Jesus has passed her by, or no longer alive. Both Jesus and Veronica meet, they breathe, they exchange glances, they both express some form of pain, vulnerability and need of each other. They both meet in mutual humanity.

Here, Veronica is portrayed as standing front-on, facing Jesus. Many images of the scene will show you either a woman exhibiting the shroud with a face on it, or some sort of representation that covers Jesus’ face. This artwork does neither. Jesus and Veronica are right there in the moment, as if someone has frozen time.

What do you see?

I see a woman standing, facing and confronting with compassion, the suffering of a man, her Lord and Saviour.

I see a woman present to the needs of her Master.

I see a faithful companion.