Second day of the joint meeting: Inspiring Encounter with Pope Francis and Testimonies of Hope

Second day of the joint meeting: Inspiring Encounter with Pope Francis and Testimonies of Hope


On the second day of the joint UISG-USG meeting, the morning was filled with joy as participants met with Pope Francis. Participants shared meaningful moments with His Holiness, strengthening the bonds and communion between the members present.


In the afternoon, participants had the opportunity to listen to the testimony of two Superiors General: Sr. Miriam Altenhofen, SSpS, Superior General of the Serves of the Holy Spirit, and Fr. Miguel Márquez, OCD, Superior General of the Order of Discalced Carmelites. Each of them shared testimonies of hope.


Sr. Miriam Altenhofen began her testimony with the phrase attributed to Martin Luther: "If I believed that the world would end tomorrow, I would still plant an apple tree today." She then shared concrete examples of hope within her religious family, such as the transformative impact of community discernment at a General Chapter, which enabled a shift from a culture of debate to one of sharing and exploration.

She also highlighted the sisters' commitment to remaining with the people, even in dangerous situations such as the war in Ukraine. She then spoke of the desire of elderly sisters to make a transition for the common good.


Sr. Miriam Altenhofen described hope as a deep trust in God's plans for a positive future, even in the face of challenges. She emphasized that this hope is prophetic, inspiring concrete action and a commitment to remain close to those in need.


Fr. Miguel Márquez spoke of the importance of listening, especially to God's call. Jesus' question to his disciple Peter at Lake Tiberias: "Do you love me?" remains the same for each and every one of us today - a call to let Jesus Christ rebuild us, regenerate us to build a world of peace and justice. The essence of Consecrated Life lies in letting ourselves be loved. It is through silence, selflessness, and obedience to the Spirit that true hope is born.


Fr. Miguel shared in his testimony all the experiences of his confreres who live in troubled places and who try to give children everywhere a place to dream! These children teach us what true hope is, hope that wishes to be born in the midst of challenges, hope that is strengthened in places of war such as Syria and Ukraine. This hope is based on the recognition of one's own poverty and the desire to be a medium for God's love.


He also emphasized the role of Mary and the importance of trusting in her role as Mother, where everyone can learn to give birth to a new reality, remembering the words of joy and courage that sounded in the angel's announcement to Mary.


The day concluded with a moment of sharing in small groups, giving everyone time to express and share the hope that dwells in the hearts of each and every one, for a renewed future of consecrated life.


Olga Honzalez Salazar

Ya se va haciendo camino con la presencia del Papa compartiendo nuestras inquietudes profundas Gracias

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