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Post Chapter Reflections: "Guided Flow"

Donna McInnis, CND

As I look back on my experience of the General Chapter, two words keep surfacing to describe how the Chapter delegates moved from one part of the chapter to the next. The two words? ‘Guided flow.’

The initial trickles of this ‘flow’ started long before we gathered in Cornwall. All of us contributed to the beginning flow as sisters and associates gathered in their respective provinces and regions for pre-Chapter work. Twelve magnificent letters captured the essence of who we are as Congregation de Notre Dame sisters and associates.

Upon my return home, one sister asked: “What did you do during all that time?”

We experienced eight different movements during our time at the NAV Centre.

  • setting the tone through retreat with Father Simon Pierre Arnold
  • establishing norms and procedures for small group and large group work
  • deepening our sense of the current reality via contemplative reading of the province and region reports
  • enjoying two free days to rest and relax like kayaking on the St. Lawrence
  • developing future directions and orientations through the use of creative presentations to gather the voice of the congregation in response to the question: “Where is God calling the Congregation de Notre Dame into the future?”
  • moving into Leadership Discernment followed by the Election Process
  • working towards consensus for the future directions and orientations
  • exploring ways of bringing the message home

We journeyed as one body from one movement to the next with grace and ease. This journey could not have been accomplished without the grace of the Holy Spirit and the skilled presence and guidance of our two facilitators - Yvonne Bellerose, SSA and Bridget Ehlert, SSL.

And as I pen these lines for November 10th, I am reminded that this life-giving flow didn’t end on August 29th. A ninth movement exists. It is a movement in which all of us, sisters and associates, continue to be called and challenged to find ways to live interculturality, go to the peripheries, honour and respect our ‘common home’ and to humanize all relationships no matter where we find ourselves.

 

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