Early this year a new group of Companions in Mission was formed spanning three time zones between the South East of the USA and and the FCJ sisters in Alberta, Canada. On September 8, 2019, Sacred Heart Convent in Calgary, Alberta, hosted an unusual CiM re-commitment ceremony: five of the FCJ sisters in Calgary clustered around a computer along with six men and women in Georgia, Florida and Alabama who had all received their CiM formation as part of the Tuscaloosa CiMs, but who have all moved far away from Tuscaloosa.
The ceremony began with an opening song harkening back to the first formation days from 2001-2003, Everyday God. It was followed by an opening prayer:
Father, bless us as we continue on our journey as Companions in Mission. Give us the vision to see the needs of others and loving generosity to respond to them. Renew within us the Spirit of Companionship. This we ask through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Then Deacon Chip and Tina read scripture passages (Ezekiel 36: 24-2 and Psalm 23). After a time of reflection, Bill and Dawn, from Atlanta, Georgia, were the first to make their statements about why they wish to re-connect with CiM after a decade-long absence. Both statements emphasized how CiM helps them feel connected to the universal Church and give them support for the various ministries they do. They then read the traditional commitment formula and Sr. Ita, fcJ accepted their commitment.
Then Tina and Chip made their statements of intent and gratitude. For Tina, learning about Ignatian spirituality through her formation as a Companion in Mission has been a big help to her prayer life; Chip claims he would never have had the courage and confidence to train as a Deacon, had it not been for his CiM formation.
Last, but not in the least, were Judy and Steve. They have moved to the south of Alabama. They both spoke of how CiM gives them life through having a small group to whom to be accountable for their spiritual lives and support in prayer for their various prayer intentions.
The ceremony was actually just beautiful! Sr. Ann Marie, fcJ shared: I was delighted to be able to be at the CiM Re-Commitment Ceremony via technology! It was very moving to hear the individual testimonies as to why they wanted to renew as CiMs. For each one, the opportunity to be a CiM is life-giving for them and a very important part of their lives. Thank God that our FCJ Charism can be carried to many different places through our dedicated and enthusiastic CiMs.” Sr. Pat said: I felt privileged to be present at the recommitment ceremony of 6 CiMs who are now living in various part s of the USA. Gathered around Madeleine’s computer, the wonders of ZOOM enabled us to speak to, see and hear each other…. Thank you so much! Sr. Helen Kampel added: The idea of doing it by Zoom was phenomenal—seeing them face to face and seeing their joy. How they shared their commitment was touching and inspiriting!
Our CiM history continues to develop! God be praised!