We are approaching a sacred time in the history of the Dominican Sisters of Peace: preparation for the General Assembly, and the 200th Anniversary of Dominican Sisterhood in the United States.
We praise God for the blessings of the past, the graced moments of the present, and our bright hopes for the future.
I am reading LET US DREAM by Pope Francis in conversation with Austin Ivereigh, and I want to offer you some extended quotations: his reflections on “The People”/ “Populism.” With our special time in mind, I substitute “Congregation” for “The People.”
“The CONGREGATION is always the fruit of a synthesis, of an encounter, of a fusion of disparate elements that generates a whole which is greater than its parts.” p. 100
“The CONGREGATION is a living reality that is the fruit of a shared integrating principle. It is not a logical concept. It can be approached only through intuition, by entering into its spirit, its heart, its history and traditions.” pp.101—102
“To speak of a CONGREGATION is to appeal to unity in diversity. . .we have become used to speaking of identity in categories of exclusion and differentiation. I (Francis) prefer to use the archetypal term, ‘mythical category’, for it opens up a different way of describing reality, through the synthesis of potentialities that I call overflow.” p. 102—103
During this graced time may we intuit the soul of our congregation as we ponder our spirit, our heart, our history and our traditions. May our reflections bring us to a synthesis of potentialities for our future (overflow). May it spill over and inspire the days yet to come.
Dr. Austin Ivereigh is a Fellow in Contemporary Church History at Campion Hall, University of Oxford