The Franciscan Missionaries of St Joseph gathered in a General Chapter at Little Hulton have elected a new congregational leadership team. For the first time in the history of the congregation two of the team members are from Kenya.
Sr Joan Kerly, Chapter secretary, reports:
16th June Preparing for the Election
The sisters from the Ecuador Region led us in a reflective PowerPoint presentation of Spiritual Leadership, based on the Beatitudes. This was a remote preparation for the election of the Congregational Leader and her team which will take place on Saturday and Sunday.
We spent the rest of the morning reviewing the documents that were sent in as part of our Prechapter discussions. We noted all the prayer and sharing that went into these discussions and we are grateful for their input. After this we did the necessary, but not the most enlivening, task of considering the changes that need to be made, and approved, during the chapter. This took quite a long time!
Fr. Dermot Byrne, MHM celebrated the Mass of the Holy Spirit for us. His homily was very inspiring, and funny. He spoke about things that people do that they simply take for granted and said:
“Look very carefully and treasure the things you can do. They are not trivial, nor insignificant.”
Sometimes the smallest thing can have a great impact on others without our realizing it.
After an hour of private reflection and prayer in the late afternoon, we gathered for evening prayer, once again invoking the Holy Spirit. We were reminded: “Don’t ask the Holy Spirit if you don’t to listen.” We had a very simple evening prayer, simply sitting in adoration asking for guidance. Some of the sisters began the prayer with a moving sign language interpretation of the hymn, “Not by might, not by power.” Our ending hymn was a Spanish Eucharistic hymn, followed by the Salve Regina.
June 17th Election of Congregational leader.
Sr Maureen Murphy was re-elected Congregational Leader
18th June Election of leadership team
Today we had two elections:
a. the election of the 4 Councillors, Sisters Anne Moore, Margaret Nyabongoye, Brenda Makokha, and Joan Kerley.
b. the election of the Assistant Congregational Leader, Sister Anne Moore. A simple prayer of blessing for our new Leadership Team was led by Sr. Joan O’Gorman. May God bless the new team as they begin their ministry for us.
Liturgies today were beautifully led by our Kenyan Sisters. Archbishop Emeritus Patrick Kelly celebrated the Liturgy on this wonderful feast of Corpus Christi. He said that the word manna means “what is this” so it’s a question word, not a statement and then spoke about what the Eucharist means today. He mentioned Pope Francis’ stress on discernment and going out to the world, not being self-referential but looking to serve others, particularly the poorest among us. He reminded us of Pope Francis’ exhortation not to be worried about the future but to think about the future we would like and start to make it a reality today.
In-between the elections on both days, we’ve had time to enjoy beautiful English sunny weather!!
Sr Joan Kerley fmsj