“Truly, the Lord is in this spot…”

By Sr. Glorina Jugo, USA

I have never been to Colombia in my life; however, I have seen beautiful images of the country, heard nostalgic traditional Colombian songs, and enjoyed the lively folk dances. I have also known Colombian sisters who belong to the USA vice-province and I live with two in my community. Consequently, it is only natural for me to be very happy when I am given the opportunity to visit Colombia, as one of the two delegates from USA to attend the 55th General Chapter.

On my way to La Turena, I am in awe at the natural beauty around and along the highway. There are stretches of spectacular sights of colorful flowers with green hills and rolling mountains in the distant horizon. The gentle afternoon rain and chirping birds at dusk made me feel I am in a special place abundantly blessed by God.

This is my first time to participate in the Congregation’s General Chapter and have come with eyes and ears wide open, and a heart awake, ready to receive and respond to whatever will be asked of me. The moment I stepped into the courtyard of La Turena, I feel I am treading on holy ground. The word of the prophet Isaiah welled up within me, “See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” I was warmly touched by the loving gesture of the sisters who were at the entrance gate to meet the delegates. Their warm hospitality and welcoming smiles made me feel a strong sense of home and of belonging to them. Their thoughtful planning and careful attention to details ensured the sisters’ needs, both spiritual and corporal, are provided during this time of encounter. I experienced the same deep feeling earlier when I was with sisters in the Provincial House of Santafé of Bogota and the Casa Central, places where I visited before proceeding to Bucaramanga. The loving fraternal atmosphere must have been the way Blessed Marie Poussepin welcomed the poor girls from the villages of Sainville in her time.

Blessings at the table…

When all the capitulars gathered together in prayer for the first time, I realized that I have come to witness and be part of a historic and future-changing moment in the life of the Congregation. It is a special grace for me to be with many other sisters from different parts of the world to share together our different perspectives on the life and mission of the Congregation.

The time we spend in prayer and reflection, discussion of challenges, and sharing of ideas has given me a deeper sense of gratitude, appreciation, and joy for who we are called to be for the sake of the Kingdom. I feel strongly that I have finally found my place in the “House of Blessed Marie Poussepin” with the singular blessing of community, responsibility, accountability, and stewardship that come with being part of the Congregation.

Each day is punctuated with celebration of the Eucharist and metered with times for prayer, conferences, silence, discernment, sharing, and recreation. In living the daily rhythm, I feel the still movement of the Spirit in the hearts of the sisters. The gentle Presence is to me like mist rain at dawn that fills rivers while everyone is slowly rising from a deep slumber.

I sense that we are all one, strongly united with our Mother Foundress:
in the spirit of grateful joy for all the blessings we have received in the past and in the present;
in the spirit of fraternal love for the gift of one another;
in the spirit of selfless giving in our service to the people of God and the poor; and
in the spirit of expectant hope for visions of new horizons to help renew and build-up the Church.

In fidelity to the Charism and Mission…

I realize that we have all come together for one urgent purpose to work together for the good of the Congregation; to look afresh at our Charism and be “sent to go beyond the borders” to live our Mission wherever we are called. I expect each day of the 55th General Chapter will be lived in the spirit of trust in God’s Providence. We will share memories, concerns, realities, pains, tears, and visions. In the end, we will make radical decisions to reinterpret our Charism in words and action and live our Mission at the periphery of human existence in a world that is constantly changing. At the end of the General Chapter, we will be reminded once again of the prophet Micah’s words:

“You have been told O man, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you:
to act justly,
to love tenderly,
and to walk humbly with your God.”

And like the faithful psalmist, we will respond, “Behold, I come to do your will.”