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Discerning new leadership II ...

We continue to be aware of your prayer supporting us as we move closer to choosing new leaders.

Come Holy Spirit written in the nine languages used in the Society.

Our faith sharing, which was in consensus groups was based on a text from Luke 12:35-38. This time of reflection and sharing was a good preparation for our day.

Table group.

Table group.

Table group.

Table group.

Table group.

We then spent some time together sharing our thoughts on the challenges and calls to us as FCJs that we may meet in the coming years.

Identifying the calls to us today.

Studying the calls.

Following this we had time to begin to look together at the specific qualities needed by our new leadership and to begin to suggest names of those who might fulfil the role.

The next stage in the process gave us an opportunity to talk one to one with any sister we were suggesting for one of these roles.

Mass of the Holy Spirit

On Monday evening we celebrated the Mass of the Holy Spirit, with Ian Tomlinson SJ presiding.

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Extracts from the Homily

(1 Cor 12:413; Psalm 103:23-34; Luke 10:21-24)

Like the 72 disciples, returning from their mission, you have paused a little for reflection. You come rejoicing that over the last five years good work has been done by your sisters in Jesus' name. The days here are private, quality moments with Jesus. In a moment 'filled with joy' by the Holy Spirit, Jesus revealed to the disciples that God is his Father; that he is God's Son; that it is through him that God is revealed to the world: theology that it would take the Church years to understand and to teach. Likewise, you are gathering together the consoling spirit-filled ideas God has communicated to you in recent years and during these days at Loyola Hall.

Right at this moment Jesus acclaims you as 'blessed'. Just as the disciples were 'blessed' because of what they had seen and heard; Jesus healing, Jesus preaching, the tender and compassionate way Jesus worked with the needy, with the poor - so you have been blessed by what you have seen in ministry: in schools, in parishes, giving retreats, accompanying the needy, aiding the poor, struggling with sinful forces... Disciples need to take time, as I am sure you are doing, to appreciate at depth the privilege it is to share in the saving work of Jesus; to savour true spiritual consolation, as Satan crashes like lightning.

And yet you are 'mere children', infants. Jesus' disciples (at least the Twelve) were a tough bunch: hardened fishermen, unscrupulous tax-collectors, reformed terrorists. Now they are 'mere children' in the Israelite tradition of those such as Mary and Joseph, Elizabeth and Zechariah who waited patiently for God's salvation. I cannot imagine FCJ's not preparing thoroughly to choose a new Superior General: gathering information, prayer, murmuratio ... but then we must leave it to God. Ignatius' first and second times for making an election ultimately rest upon God-given consolation. In the third time, however much I may use my intellect, I am encouraged 'to ask God our Lord to be pleased to move my will and to put into my mind what I ought to do'. (SpEx 180)