Submitted by Marie-Louise, FCJ Companion in Mission
What a wonderful celebration we had with Australian FCJ Sisters and Companions in Mission (CiMs) together on Sunday 26 March in the beautiful Genazzano FCJ Chapel in Kew, Melbourne! Mary, Companions in Mission coordinator in Australia, was our Master of Ceremonies and she joyfully announced that this was the first time we CiMs had met face to face for two and a half years! This made our celebration even more special.
There were so many reasons for us to meet together. Pat, Area Co ordinator (Australia) for 10 years and local Co-ordinator (15 years) and Julie (member for 18 years) made their CiM commitment for another six years. We then watched the commissioning of CiM Co ordinators: FCJ Sisters Anne, Mary and Maureen, and lay members: Shirley, Eve and Maria.
Thanksgiving speeches followed for the faithful leadership of Pat, with warm reminiscences shared by Sister Barbara, FCJ leader for the Area of Australia, and by Shirley and Pat herself.
The group photo (top) shows us all sitting and rejoicing together. We can see representation from all our current CiM groups and FCJ Sisters.
We learned from Pat about the history of the CiMs, which started in England twenty years ago and then spread internationally. Pat explained that there was a deep desire amongst the lay Associates, influenced by the courage and confidence of Marie Madeleine d’Houët, to be more deeply connected with the Ignatian spirituality of the FCJ community.
Of course, no celebration is complete without a superb afternoon tea. Together in the Genazzano staffroom, we had a chance to catch up and to reflect with gratitude, not only on the dedicated work of Pat and Julie but on the Spirit living within us as CiMs.