This past weekend, Sarah, Pat, Clare and Amy when to the first Chapter session. The session opened Thursday evening with prayer, including the lively "Dance of the Universe" which featured Sarah and Kate Filla, another sister, leading the group in gestures. It got us off to a rousing start.
During the weekend, we discussed and agreed on directives to send to our congregational chapter which will be in summer 2007 in St. Paul, MN. This process involved some wonderful sharing about the meaning of our lives together as CSJs, and our dreams, passion and vision for the future. These discussions were tremendously enriching. Through a series of smaller and larger group meetings, we sought to capture these jewels in some concise directives.
Our next task was to select delegates and observers to send to the congregational chapter. Some initial technical problems with the voting equipment was valiantly weathered by our planning committee. After some false starts, Sr. Damien, our moderator for the session told us: "This is our first ballot. You may have dreamed that you voted before, but that didn't really happen." With that, we got down to balloting in earnest, and in the early afternoon had the delegates selected.
In addition to the work, there was prayer, liturgy, music and dancing, and the opportunity to catch up and share with so many of our sisters and associates from across the country. With nearly 200 of us there, there were plenty of hugs and well wishing as finished our work at noon on Sunday and headed back home, tired, but enriched by all that we had shared.
--Peace and Blessings of Advent to all!
P.S. This photo isn't great, but it's all I have. Sarah is on a contemplative experience with the other St. Louis Novices. When she gets back, maybe she'll load up some others.