Submitted by Mary, FCJ Companion in Mission
Well before the 2.30pm start, great enthusiasm, mixed with quite a few nerves (from me) due to technical difficulties, were already underway for our 2023 Companionship Hour. Despite this prelude, when we were all finally together on Zoom, thanks to Sr Barbara (currently in Manila) who was able to sign us in, all progressed well for the remaining 40 minutes. Sr Barbara’s gentleness certainly calmed my frazzled state.
We had both CiM and FCJ Sisters logging in from various areas in Victoria and the world, including Shepparton, Fairfield, Richmond, Deepdene, Hawthorn and Manila. We also had CiM from all over Melbourne. We acknowledged apologies from those who could not be with us and knew they were with us in spirit and prayer.
Our zoom companionship prompt – ‘Marie Madeleine d’Houët a thought/action about her life/work, including reference to the Charism Painting’, inspired wonderful sharing from all. Mention was made of the beautiful gardens Marie Madeleine established everywhere she set up homes and schools. This access to God’s creation on a regular basis was of great aid to many: spiritually, psychically, and mentally.
We shared the Jesuit connection, the poverty, hardships, and joys of our beginnings, and the FCJ ministry of Education. We discussed that FCJ companionship is inspired by the women who were faithful companions of Jesus ministering to him in his life even to the cross and beyond. We discussed the evolving story and how to work courageously with the legacies in an interpretive manner that carries them forward to create a renewed contemporary expression of the FCJ spirit and charism. The story evolves as the world and society changes. We talked about the exceptional work and spirit of Marie Madeleine, her bravery, gentleness, keen sense of social justice and compassion. A marvellous fourty minutes sharing our companionship and an inspirational story.