We are happy to announce that Sue Cawley, Companion in Mission from England, has recently been appointed as International Coordinator of the FCJ Companions in Mission. For an initial period of one year Sue will work with Lisa Gilead, CiM from Canada, who will be finishing her term as International Coordinator. Here is a letter written by Sue to all Companions in Mission and FCJ Sisters.
1 July 2023
Dear Companions in Mission and FCJ Sisters,
Although I have known the Sisters since the age of eleven, it was during the Pilgrimage in 2014 that I met a number of Companions in Mission who inspired me and ignited in me, a desire to know more about this diverse group of people who clearly had a great love of Marie Madeleine and the Society, and who joyfully lived out the charism and Spirituality of the Sisters in their daily lives. I wanted to know more.
At the time, I was experiencing what I thought was a series of coincidences – one thing led so clearly to the next, until July 2016, when I made my first commitment as a Companion in Mission. Of course, it was not coincidence, but the Spirit working in my life, gently leading me, as He leads us all. If you had told me then, that I would, today, be taking on this role, as CiM International Coordinator for the FCJ Society, I would have had great difficulty in believing you, but it is a privilege to have been asked, and I do so, willingly.
I look forward to working with Lisa during the next year, building on everything she has achieved over the last three years. I am also looking forward to getting to know each of you and working with you, shaping a community alongside the Sisters, strong in its commitment to Companionship with Jesus and each other.
Although we are used to thinking of Marie Madeleine as a religious, which of course she was, I am struck by the fact that she spent half her life as a daughter, sister, wife and mother, before becoming a religious, trying to work out what it was that God was asking of her. It was this attitude of discernment that led to the foundation of the Society and its mission to satisfy the ‘I thirst’ that she heard so clearly in 1817.
As Companions in Mission wherever we are, what are the needs we see around us, that we are meeting, and which Marie Madeleine would have responded to, if she were with us today? What is it that God is asking of each of us? The answers to those questions will be different, in the different areas of our international community but answers, I hope, we can explore and share with each other over the coming months. In this way, we will all grow in our appreciation of how the Spirit is moving and working in us and our world today, and how that same Spirit journeys alongside us all.
With love and in companionship,
Sue Cawley CiM
CiM International Coordinator
FCJ Companions in Mission (CiMs) come from different countries and continents, genders, ages, and walks of life, all called to the same mission. This mission has its roots in baptism – sent like Jesus to bring about the reign of God in our world. CiMs are called to live out in their concrete realities and daily lives the spirituality gifted to the world by the Holy Spirit through Marie Madeleine d’Houët, foundress of the FCJ Society, a spirituality of companionship. Presently there are 151 Companions in Mission across the FCJ Society.
As Faithful Companions of Jesus we rejoice in the growth and diversity of the Companions in Mission over the past eighteen years. We thank God for the enthusiasm, gifts and commitment of each one, dispersed over eleven countries. This new expression of the Charism is a source of inspiration and hope and we truly value the treasure that the Companions in Mission are to the FCJ Society and to God’s world.
Chapter Calls, FCJ General Chapter 2019