UISG Formation Programme 2022: graduation
UISG Formation Programme 2022: graduation
June 30th was the graduation day for the 45 Sisters who participated in the fourth Edition of the UISG Formation Programme for Formators. The whole programme lasts 5 months from January - June. This year the participants came from 34 countries, representing more than 30 different Congregations.
The theme chosen for the graduation ceremony was: "Go and Witness Synodality as Graced Companions".
Sr. M. Cynthia Reyes, sra, Coordinator of the Programme, said:
"Congratulations sisters! Now you are ready for your formation and vocational mission at the service of your Congregation and the Church. I would like to thank all those who accompanied the sisters during the five months. A special gratitude goes to Fr David Gentry Akin, Mission Promoter of the Solidarity with South Sudan Project, who accompanied the group in many ways."
Sr. Pat Murray, ibvm, Executive Secretary of UISG, offered some final words to the sisters reminding them that:
"Religious life is an adventure of love with Jesus and with the world. In the Scripture passage chosen for today’s celebration, we are told that Abraham kept moving forward, going to the frontiers. You are going back to new frontiers, new places perhaps or old places which you will see with new eyes.
We use our senses, our eyes, our ears, touch, smell and taste; God enters through the way we sense, see, touch the world; and we reflect that through our biblical and scriptural way of life.
I learned a great lesson from the Lakota people, where I went to learn about interculturality. I asked my teacher Tilly Blackbear a question and she did not answer me. I said to myself that I must have asked a poor question so I began to think about my question. Five days later she said to me 'Do you remember the question you asked the first day? As Lakota people we do not answer our childrens' questions immediately; we allow them to listen to their own questions.'
This is what I want to share with you as formators. Do not give easy answers, allow your formees to listen to their own questions; so that within themselves they can find their answer or perhaps a much deeper question. This is the role of an accompanier."
4th Edition of the Programme
More than 150 participants so far
45 Sisters Participants in 2022
Go and Witness Synodality as Graced Companions
Sr. Roxanne Schares, Superior General of the Schools Sisters of Notre Dame and Member of the UISG Board, gave a profound reflection under the theme "Go and Witness Synodality as Graced Companions."
"Two words of the theme today particularly capture my attention and resonate strongly within me: “graced companions.” First of all, these words suggest the kind of companions you and all of us, I believe, are to be, want to be going forth and serving as formators in our congregations. What and how you and we are for our congregations will impact our entire church and world.
This mutual gracing of one another reminds me of my experience as a formator, as well as the years in ministry with refugees in Africa, particularly when with the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). The JRS mission is “to accompany, to serve, to advocate the cause of refugees and other forcibly displaced people…” It was understood that there always would be a service offered; however, the conviction was that accompaniment, ‘journeying with’ was most important—a way to express and live solidarity and concern for their wellbeing. Of utmost importance was how we carried out the service—the quality of our presence, the walking with and sharing of experiences, even the struggle and suffering, and discovering together a way into the future. Very demanding, yet very enriching with countless graced moments.
We readily think of formation as a ministry, a service in the congregation; and it is a very essential one. The way of accompaniment, of being companion, a “graced companion” in the journeying and discerning together is vital for the formation ministry. Much can be said about such accompaniment, and I trust you have learned, reflected upon, and shared extensively about this."
Sr. Roxanne Schares, Superior General of the School Sisters of Notre Dame
"Grace will be ours through the encounters, the listening, the deepening of communion. So with confidence and hope, go and witness synodality as graced companions."