...we answer God's call - to discover and make known - the love of the Heart of Jesus...

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Internationality
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In the province of England and Wales, there is a generational support group for all those born after 1944. In June 2017, when this group met, we expressed our sadness at the outcome of the 2016 referendum, which resulted in the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. We also expressed our regret for the divisions which have been created in our own country because of the now famous BREXIT decision. In light of this, we discussed how we as RSCJ in ENW could maintain and strengthen our relationships with the other provinces of the region of Europe.


We are also aware of the broader context of the ongoing process in the Society of “building up the region of Europe” and the invitation of the calls of Chapter 2016 to cross frontiers.


With all this in mind, we decided to invite some European RSCJ who fall into the same peer group to our meeting in January 2018. While we know there are conversations across the region between RSCJ in specific roles, we also felt we wanted to dialogue with our European sisters, as grass roots members of provinces.


We were happy to welcome RSCJ from most of the European provinces and in total we were 20 people including 10 from the province of ENW. We were aware of the missing voices of provinces which could not be with us for various reasons and our hope is that they will be able to be represented in any future gatherings.


One phrase used at the meeting, which resonated with many, is that Europe is the “air we breathe”. As RSCJ, we are inter-linked, sharing the concerns and joys of each province because we share the air we breathe, our common identity as Europeans.


This meeting had been planned as an initial reflection and conversation to help foster networks of relationship amongst RSCJ across Europe, support each other in mission and reflect on what values we want to live as RSCJ in this region. It was also a gathering full of fun and laughter.


Our hope is that other RSCJ across Europe will initiate similar grass root conversations across the generations, languages and cultures which so enrich our European region. Let us invite each other to continue the dialogue about how we live and sustain the mission of the Society across our complex and fast-changing continent.


 

"One of the most important things for us in this meeting was “growing” our relationships as RSCJ together in Europe.

We also reflected on our responsibility to the future generations of RSCJ in Europe.


During the meeting, we also reflected on the following questions connected with our being RSCJ in Europe.


- Who is God calling us to be?


- What is God calling us to do?


Over the three days we were together, we reflected on these two questions, considering them in light of our documents, the gospel and the GC2016 Chapter calls."

 

Brygida and Violeta from Poland

 

"We felt a warm welcome from the province of ENW and the Kairos Centre, which hosted our meeting. All of this enabled us to feel as one BODY interconnected and linked as it is written in the General Chapter document. On the first evening, we introduced ourselves with our small boats “setting sail” in order to reach new frontiers. By the end of our meeting, we all felt we had moved beyond our expectations and images about Europe.

 

Our identity as an RSCJ is stronger than any kind of economical, historical and political entity. The morning prayers and the Eucharist led us to meet at a deeper level. At the same time our sharing, discussions and reflections helped us to understand each other’s reality better."

Hajni and Rita, Hungarians in Central Europe Province

"I appreciated the movement and energy of the weekend. We began by presenting images of the issues facing our individual countries in relation to the rest of Europe.

 

We became aware both of the similarity of issues across Europe and our vision of a Europe “without borders”.

 

At the same time, we also recognised the importance of respecting and valuing our ethnic and cultural identities"

 

Carmel from Ireland-Scotland

 

"In sharing about the different issues faced by our countries in relation to Europe, we realised that we have many common questions without answers: migrants, increasing poverty, refugees…. However, if Europe is a political and economic entity, RSCJ Europe is something else, deeply rooted in our spirituality. The structures of Europe will not prevent us from being who we are as RSCJ.


In Roehampton, we came to know each other better and the specificities of our own contexts. We are convinced that the networks which we are part of as the family of the Sacred Heart, RSCJ and laity involved in our mission, is a force and can be a prophetic sign for our world"

 

Catherine and Martine from Belgium-France-Netherlands