Histoires de ministères

Histoires particulières de ministères

Carmel Hanley fcJ
        Companionship ...the heart of my ministry

Photo of Sr Carmel.I live in a community of three in Stretford, Manchester, not very far from where I was born. Being in community with Gabriel and Winefride, being involved in the work — physical, emotional and spiritual — of living companionship, within and beyond the community, is at the heart of my ministry, and has become increasingly important to me since reaching the age of retirement.

Our community is based in St Ann’s parish in Stretford and I love the contacts here with parishioners and neighbours. As a member of the SVP Society I visit elderly and housebound women and men. We try to raise awareness of and express appreciation for the life and contribution so many elderly parishioners have made to the Church and particularly to St Ann’s over countless years. We organise special services, afternoon tea and a wonderful Christmas party for them. We welcome parishioners into our house for a monthly Scripture study group. They also enjoy coming to weekly Advent and Lent prayer and reflection groups and an Easter celebration. About a dozen or so friends from the parish regularly attend and we all find it helpful.

Whatever contribution I could make to community and parish life was seriously challenged when, in September 2011, I began a new ministry as non-resident Local Leader to Kersal community in Salford, and also to one sister being cared for in a home across the city, and to another sister living alone but near to Kersal. There were seven sisters at that time in Kersal. My first two years were truly a baptism of fire. A major new building project had just started, creating havoc both at the front and at the back of our large house, inside and out. We were preparing to welcome a community of elderly sisters from the other end of the country, Broadstairs, as soon as the last nail was in place. Most difficult of all for the sisters has been the loss of six of their companions in twenty months. However, the FCJ spirit is very strong and there is a growing sense of a genuine coming together into a new community, one community. There are many signs of real joy and appreciation of their beautiful surroundings, and of the quality of care that is available for their spiritual and physical health and wellbeing. Contributing to the life at Kersal is now my main ministry.

Dominique Kaufmann
        to serve through these children ...

Photo of Sr. Dominique.My name is Rita Kaufmann, I was born in Oensingen,in the  canton of Solothurn in Switzerland.

On  8th September 1967 I entered the convent of the Sisters, ”Faithful Companions of Jesus.” in Broadstairs Kent, England. There I received the religious habit and the name Sister Dominique.

In 1970 I made my first vows and then was sent back to our big international boarding school in Fribourg, Switzerland. There I learned French and looked after the boarders till 1979.

In 1979 I was missioned to our Convent in Jersey, Channel Islands, where we also had a big school.

1981-1989 I went back to Broadstairs, where I then did my training as a nursery teacher.

In September 1989 I came back to Switzerland, to Naters in the canton of the Valais, a very beautiful place surrounded by mountains.

Photo of Dominique in kindergarten.Here with three Kindergarten teachers we opened the Kindergarten Nursery school where I have been the Principal for twenty years.

I still enjoy each new day, caring for these children, 18 months to 5 years of age and giving them some love and security during the time they spent in our Kindergarten.

I find it a very nice way to serve the Lord through these children who are in my care for the day.
Cornelia Vîrgă, fcJ
        I am a teacher.. that is my mission

Photo of Sr. Cornelia. My name is Cornelia, and I made my vows in September 2008. I first thought about religious life when I was only 8 or 9 years old. I did not give too much importance to it then, but the idea came back into my mind from time to time.

Later after much searching, reflecting and discerning I knew that God could well be calling me to religious life as an FCJ Sister.  This call I felt deep down in my heart; it fulfilled all my desires, and I knew that the source of my happiness was in Jesus, and would not be found elsewhere.

After two years of Novitiate in Paris, I was missioned  to Bucharest in order to study. My first mission was to be a student, and to be prepared to serve God and my neighbour in school. I am now a primary school teacher… having completed a three year course in pedagogy at the University of Bucharest. 

As a student, I enjoyed the companionship of good friends and dedicated teachers who love the teaching profession. A nice custom in our University is that each year at Christmas time the students put on a show for the teachers and their fellow students. Working together drew us closer together. Sharing moments of emotion and joy strengthened and enriched staff/ student relationships. Every day there were new things to learn, and I realised that today I am richer than yesterday, but poorer than tomorrow.

Photo of Sr. Cornelia with her students.I am following a Master’s course in addition to teaching in a primary school not very far from where we live in FCJ community. Each morning I go to school with enthusiasm and joy, and come back home energised and full of hope. Working  with young children, each day is a new adventure !

Being a Sister  at University where so many saw me as someone different, was a challenge for me (I was different because I am a Catholic, a person under vows, without a Religious habit, and looking like everyone else.)  Being an FCJ student  among students, and now a teacher on a Primary school staff,  for me  means being with them, accepting each one as she is.  We experience wonderful times together, share our learnings, laugh together and encourage each other, and now I have many new friends.

May the Holy Spirit show each one of us how to be a good companion and friend to those we meet every day.
Christine Anderson fcJ
        Ignatian in outlook ...

Photo of Christine.Christine Anderson lives in Rome and is Director of Faith and Praxisfcj.

She works as an Organisational Analyst and Facilitator for International  Organisations and leads training events for lay people and apostolic religious in Rome and in other countries of the world especially Africa. This work focusses on the integration of faith with organisational dynamics. She is program leader of an International Leadership Development Program in Rome which is a joint program of Faith and Praxisfcj and The Grubb Institute London. The participants are of many different nationalities and cultures.

Christine moved to Rome in 2003 after sixteen years as Founder and Director of the Craighead Institute in Glasgow, Scotland.   This Institute is an extension of the work of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius concentrating on the practical application and integration of the exercises in everyday life.  The Training and Analytic work has a strong discernment and social justice component. Faith and Praxis are at the heart of the methodology. Being Ignatian in outlook the work of the Institute is based on the experience of the participants, social and cultural analysis, Ignatian and scriptural reflection and organisation for action.

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