The restoration in the celebration of the 150 years of the arrival of the Sisters in Colombia

on 04 Jun, 2023
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Bogotá (Colombia), 06/04/2023, Nubia Yaneth Chávez Corredor.- One of the most significant activities in the context of the celebration of 150 years of the arrival of the Dominican Sisters of the Presentation in Colombia, is the virtual meeting between the communities of the two provinces of Santafé and Bogotá every 21st of the month, who guided by the reflection proposed by the interprovincial novitiate in Santa Clara – Manizales, give spaces in community life for reflection and attitudes of gratitude for the seed scattered by the Congregation; On May 21, these meetings of preparation finished. As a conclusion, we will share some parts of the reflection made by Sister carmenza Avellaneda Navas, about what restoration means, taking as a frame of reference, the restoration of the chapel of La Presentation, in Colombia:

“The word that we have heard many times in these long months of work, noise, dust, coming and going of workers, engineers, architects... is restoration. What does this word mean? The dictionary specifies it: it is to put a thing or a person back in the state in which it was in its origins; it is to recover and rescue; is the art of fixing the damage suffered by a work of great worth. Restoration is done when the property has lost some of its deepest meaning due to various factors.

In short, restoration is any action that is exercised directly on a property, understood in its broadest sense, and its goal is to facilitate its use, its appreciation, its understanding, the reasons that encouraged its creation and start.

The conservator takes all necessary measures to safeguard the cultural heritage, in such a way so as to ensure their access to future generations. He must get all the documentation of the works that have been carried out previously; search and decide the methods and materials appropriate that reduce future problems of the work that he executes.

Biblically we can stop at Amos 9:11 when referring to the restoration of Israel says “In that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen and repair its reaches and raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old,".

Restoring requires reinforcing, strengthening, or repairing what is deteriorated. The result will be a renovation in depth and in totality. Because to renew is to return to its first state, it is to restore, to resume, to transform.

Saint Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[b] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” The restoration will always be visible on the outside.

In our case we could also talk about revitalizing, giving new life. Restoration, in this celebration of thanksgiving, for the arrival of the sisters of the Presentation to Colombia, situates us before the charism of the Congregation that we have welcomed to live and die at the service of the Church in the exercise of charity and in the historic moment of the world to which the Church and the Congregation in it are called to respond.

Ours Constitutions tell us that every day we have to re-elect Christ and it is this re-election permanent, it is this focusing on the One who gives meaning and reason to our life, which leads us to a radical, deep, responsible experience of the gift of God made to the Church in the person of Mere Poussepin.

To carry out this re-election we need an intimate dialogue with the Lord, the encounter with his Word, nourish ourselves with the Bread of Life, permanent, humble, integral conversion; the service and the unconditional delivery to whoever requires it, the help of our sisters.

At the present time, a profound restoration requires us to walk in and towards a synodality as style, method and attitude, doing the route with others Accepting the invitation to rethink our choices and our practices, harmonizing our differences, respecting rhythms, forms, overcoming egoism and self-referentiality. Humbly open to the action of the Lord in the permanent practice of discernment. Sharing with others, serving the poor and marginalized, without setting limits or reservations, leads us to a restructuring in accordance with the Will of God.

The practice of permanent formation is imposed in the present. It is urgent that elder Sisters are open to the changes of the current culture, which has little in common with that which we have lived for years; open to the characteristics of the new generations with values and new styles; and young Sisters need to embrace perennial values that give meaning and foundation to Christian and consecrated life. With the contribution of young and old, we will take the steps that make possible a new face of the Congregation, where we resignify the value of the small, where the life and suffering of the impoverished touch our hearts, where the Word helps us to see with new eyes the daily occurrence, where together we build fraternal and convening communities …”

Thanks to the sisters and novices who contributed with their gifts, talents and knowledge in each one of these meetings. With joy, continue to walk to the entrance of this fraternal celebration, in thanksgiving, next June 21 in Bogotá, Colombia.