Building Community in an Intercultural world: echoes and voices
UISG Delegades Assembly, Manila Philippines
(5-11 November, 2017)
Sister Carmen Sammut, UISG Presidents closed the Assembly with these words:
“This week we heard that there is nothing worse than religious going to meeting after meeting after meeting with no results; we go back and everything remains as before. It would really be unfortunate if this were to happen after this meeting.
Instead, as we go back to our constellations, may we light up the night sky with the learnings from this week!
May we know how to share with the members of our constellations, as well as with others, what we have seen, touched, tasted, heard, discovered, loved, enjoyed of this people who has so heartily welcomed us. May we remember the beauty of their songs, music and dancing, the variety of food we have enjoyed, the strong commitment of the religious in favour of those who suffer. We are leaving this place changed, with new ideas and a new spirit, encouraged to take up similar commitments in our countries and for our people.
Our theme has been “Building community in an intercultural world.” We have learnt a lot from our speakers and from sharing with each other.
May we each remember every day to take some steps away from ethnocentrism, that is the risk of seeing the world and others solely from our own view point, so as to better value the other as she or he is, and not as we want them to be.
We remember that this is what God did in becoming one of us in Jesus. May we take some steps to better communicate our Mission. We have learnt that communication itself is our Mission, because our contemporaries are waiting for good news. We are called to be the voice of the Gospel online.
Some of the themes touched here need to be deepened and expanded. This is just one more step in the long journey of becoming truly who we are: human, co-creators with God in an ever expanding and evolving universe. We will try to continue the conversation and to deepen the learnings.
And may God bless us and keep us actively participating in His and Her love for all people. Safe journey home to all.”
International sisters’ group addresses interculturality as essential to religious life (Global Sisters Report, by Gail DeGeorge)
We are very happy to share this report by our guest, Gail, on our Assembly. She spent the whole week with us.
“Respecting differences. Communicating clearly. Adjusting formation programs to create connection among novices and postulants from various cultures. Extending such awareness training to older members of the community. Remembering that Christianity and the Catholic Church are rooted theologically in international mission.
These were some of the key points discussed Nov. 5-10 during the Council of Delegates meeting of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) in Manila, which was focused on the theme of “building community in an intercultural world.”
The meeting opened with symbolic presentations of colorful scarves, netting and other cloths the 45 delegates who attended brought to represent their regions, joining them together to “weave” global solidarity as they began the weeklong series of sessions, which sister volunteers translated into English, Spanish, Italian and French.”