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The FCJ Year of Reconciliation 2005 – 2006

From a Letter from Sr Katherine Mary O’Flynn, General Superior

Butterflies are a sign of hope.As we begin this year on the First Sunday of Advent 2005, I encourage each one to live this time as an opportunity to offer our world a free heart and a life that is captivated by Jesus and his mission.

Scientists have reminded us in recent years that the movements of a butterfly’s wings can be felt across the world!  Surely then the movement of our hearts and spirits over this year can have a profound effect way beyond our imaginings.

Logo of the Plenary session of the UISG May 2004.The world we live in seems to be ever more wounded and broken.  Natural disasters and wars continue to leave a trail of death and destruction.  We are becoming more aware of the great struggle we humans have to live in peace and harmony with each other.  It is no wonder that the UISG in 2004 issued an invitation to all women religious to live a spirituality of reconciliationand proclaim publicly our commitment to be bearers of reconciliation.

We each carry the scars of hurtful relationships and at times, struggle to forgive and be reconciled.  We live alongside divided communities in our towns, cities and countries.  What can we do in the midst of such brokenness and division?  How can we live the Gospel amidst the pain of conflict and violence?  Can each of us be a bearer of reconciliation?”

What does reconciliation mean?

Each one of us has her own answer.  Perhaps for many of us it begins with being reconciled with ourselves, with the pain and vulnerability which each of us carries.  As God leads us to accept some of the contradictions and ambiguities of our own hearts, we may also be given the grace to be more compassionate and loving of our sisters and brothers whose behaviour hurts, offends and provokes our anger.  The line separating good and evil according to the Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, cuts right through every human heart.  Perhaps one of the key invitations is to recognise we are all human beings who share this planet for a time.  One of the significant insights from the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa was that “my humanity is inextricably caught up in yours”.  Archbishop Desmond Tutu who has worked untiringly for truth and reconciliation in South Africa tells us that “Forgiveness does not mean condoning what has been done.  It means taking what has happened seriously and not minimizing it; drawing out the sting in the memory that threatens to poison our entire existence.”

Most of us are fortunately not faced with such extremes of pain and hurt very often.  Rather we face the daily “pinpricks” of living with other people and trusting in their goodness and humanity.

In our Year of Reconciliation, we will explore different themes according to the liturgical season.

Our Year of Reconciliation
asks of us primarily
a transformation of the heart ...

In this year of reconciliation,
the invitation is for each of us
to change our hearts
so that the heart of the world
may be changed.

The Year of Reconciliation mosaic.

We invite you to join us
in celebrating this year.

Click on the picture
to explore the themes we will use.

Serikat kita yang kecil ini bertujuan
     memuliakan hati Yesus
           dengan segala cara yang bisa dibuat Serikat ...     (Marie Madeleine)