Council of Congregation - Daughters of Wisdom
Wisdom is at the crossroads of the nations! She beckons us… This time, She was waiting for us at Fusagasugá, at the “De La Salle Casa de Encuentros” in the vibrant and dancing heart of Colombia. Like all Councils of Congregation, this gathering began with a welcoming celebration full of color, music and beauty. That was March 27, the first day of this assembly which is due to end April 7, 2017.
Three moments were scheduled for this first day :
Sr. Louise Madore, Congregational Leader, first welcomed the Entity Leaders, Bríd Long, ssl our facilitator, Maureen Gilbert, the 2-day speaker. She then greeted our special guests for the day: Sr. Aurora de Maria, dw, Fr. Pablo Garcia, smm, our chaplain, Br. Henry Vicente, fec (Local Leader), Mrs. Jasmine (Administrator), and Sr. Maria-Cristina, dw (Provincial Treasurer). It is with joy that we welcome them among us!
After an opening song, Sr. Herminda Gonzales, Provincial Leader, greeted us and explained the meaning of the ritual: the symbolic planting of a coffee bean tree. In Colombia, a collective effort to bring about something together is called "minga": a way of working together. In this way, this planting represents most eloquently what we want for the Congregation, the Church, and our society during this Council of the Congregation.
With dancing steps and music, the Sisters participated in sowing, planting, and adorning the trunk. Little by little, a coffee bean tree stood in all its glory in the middle of the assembly! As we gazed in prayer, we listened to the Word of God: "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it." (Is 55:10-11). "The Congregation was born in the same way, a way which brings forth life", Sr. Maribel said. We were then invited to write our dream for the Congregation and to place it on the soil, at the foot of the tree. These dreams and hopes will be presented at the offertory of the Eucharist.
The Eucharist was presided by Fr. Pablo, smm and was animated by a group of young girls in traditional dress. Melodies and texts imbued with the Montfortian Spirituality rejoiced and inspired us! The missioning hymn was a moving prayer expressing our Consecration to Jesus through Mary. We warmly applauded the group that came expressly from Bogotá for us.
Presentation of the religious province of Colombia by the Provincial Council
In the afternoon, Sr. Herminda expressed her joy of having us in her country. She used the image of the coffee bean tree to explain the unique and privileged role of women as bearers of life and of the future. Like Mary going towards her cousin Elizabeth and Marie-Louise on the roads of France, we respond to the call of Christ Wisdom for the life of the Congregation and of the world.
To know the country’s context will help us to better grasp its culture and the role of the Congregation in Colombia. For this reason, each member of the Provincial Council briefly presented one aspect of the nation:
The presentation ended with a dance in which the Colombian Council gave us a poncho-like cape called "ruana". The assembly was invited to join in the dance. Then, each Sister expressed her feelings and reactions to the day’s experience. Truly, Wisdom penetrates and permeates this land, this people, and their sacred story! What a significant page of the Gospel we have lived!