Section title text:  Archived News.

FCJ Tertianship: October 2004 - May 1, 2005

Photo:  Tertianship Group.Four FCJ Sisters had the opportunity to participate in the Tertianship Program, based in Stella Maris, Broadstairs, Kent.

Towards the end of their experience, they shared the following reflections:

In the final weeks we began days of “Harvesting the Fruits.”  These days helped us reflect on and integrate the whole experience of Tertianship.  We reflected on what had developed in us, the graces we received, to look at those elements of our experience we wish to hold onto, and at those experiences we wished to let go of.

Photo:  FCJ and Loretto tertians.The events of the world became our context.  As we prepared to say goodbye to Tertianship, and hello to the wider world experience, we were aware of many events that affected not only us, but the entire world:  The British, Romanian and the USA elections, the tsunami and the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Benedict XVI.

Photo: on Pilgrimage.The few days after ‘Harvesting’ were spent on
re-entry work, purposefully designed to help us come ‘back home’ to the wider Society.  We have felt very blessed to have had these days.  We are looking forward to returning to the fold so to speak and of being active members once again.

Photo: On Pilgrimage with May Campion

The tertians share with us about one part of their year: a specially chosen apostolic experience.

Photo of Ann McGill.My apostolic experience first led me to a spiritual and hospitality centre in rura Essex.  However, as it was off-season with very little going on, it provided little or no opportunity for apostolic contacts.  Further exploration/discernment resulted in my moving to London where I resided with our Somers Town community, where already there were two Tertians, Nancy and Marie Therese, an IBVM Sister.  I became involved in St. Aloysius Parish where I was warmly received by Fr. Jim and Sr. Ambrose.  I enjoyed the variety of experiences provided by the parish, which included pastoral visits to people in hospital, and to those sick or confined in their homes, helping at the Senior’s Day Centre, assisting the little ones in the next door infants’ school with their reading, as well as some office/reception work.

One evening a week I joined another Sister who is one of a group of Sisters who offer a presence on the street and assistance to women in prostitution in certain areas of the city.  The experience also gave me an opportunity to get to know our Sisters in Somers town who could not have been kinder or more welcoming.  As well I got to know London a little better, and with Nancy and Marie Therese, I dipped into a little of the cultural opportunities it provides. Ann, fcJ

Photo of Sr. Ellen McCarthy.I knew that when it came time for apostolic experience, I needed to do something with my hands.  I have always wanted to work on a farm, so I was privileged to go to the Pilsdon Community in Dorset England.  It is a working farm for vulnerable adults who otherwise would have no place to call home.  The people here have truly left their footprints on my heart and soul.  I am renewed and encouraged because of my time there.  I can only hope that they have seen the face of Christ in me as much as I have seen His face in them.  Because I spent all of Lent there the season will now hold new meaning for me.  Earth and muck, hens and ducks, cows and pigs and lambs; the cycle of life and death in the comings and goings of daily life on a farm have enriched this Lenten pilgrim’s journey, and I am richer by far for all of it.   Ellen, fcJ

Photo of Mary Murphy.I had asked to have an experience with women who had been trafficked from Eastern Europe.  The Good Shepherd Sisters are very much in the fore in this area, working with non governmental agencies in some of Europe’s capital cities and it was through their intervention that I was able to work at Le Nid, Brussels.  I was allowed to shadow the Social Workers as they put into place emergency accommodation for young women who were prepared to denounce trafficking rings.  At the moment eleven women are being accompanied and helped with medical and housing problems.

During my time there,a woman from Romania arrived.  I followed her horrendous experience as she was sheltered until the traffickers had been arrested.  A scene I will never forget is when she had to confront the man who had deceived and abused her at the police station.  At the beginning of the interview I had to translate until the official interpreter arrived and I found my attitude changed from harsh judgment to seeing him as a fragile human being caught up in a web of evil.  The trade in human beings is now worth seven billion dollars a year and is becoming more and more lucrative for exploiters.  I believe it is an important issue for women religious to address as we have much to offer through our international links, our commitment to promoting the dignity of women and our training and experience in accompaniment.   Mary, fcJ

Photo of Sr. Nancy Mittchell.My apostolic experience found me working at The Passage, a day centre and night shelter for the homeless.  It is located between Westminster Cathedral and Victoria Station.  I washed a lot of dishes in six weeks!  When not washing dishes, I bussed tables, served food and once in a while peeled potatoes.  The experience was very international.  There are many homeless in the city from other countries, including the USA.  It was a learning experience to find that people have the same problems all over the world, e.g., immigration, alcohol and drug abuse, and mental illness.  And people react in similar ways also!

A big part of being in London was living at St. Aloysius Convent, Somers Town.  It was a wonderful place to experience community.   Nancy, fcJ

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Nuestra pequeña Sociedad tiene como fin
     glorificar el corazón de Jesús
           por todos los medios a su alcance…     (Marie Madeleine)