Ariccia, 5 October 2019
Sow the Word
with the Fantasy of Communication
A huge THANKS to each of you and to every community. We truly felt you close to us through your messages, your prayer and our memory of you, which expanded our Chapter Hall to the boundaries of the world.
As you already know, we dedicated the first days of October to discernment in view of the election of the Superior General and her six councilors. Everything unfolded in a climate of prayer, discernment, faith, serenity and listening to the Spirit.
With deep gratitude, we welcomed the gifts the Lord wanted to give our Congregation by calling the following sisters to the service of government and animation for the next 6-year period:
Sr. Anna Caiazza, Superior General
Sr. Clarice Wisniewski, Councilor
Sr. Bruna Fregni, Councilor
Sr. Donna William Giaimo, Councilor
Sr. Micaela Pae, Councilor
Sr. Shalimar Rubia, Councilor
Sr. Anastasia Nduku Muindi, Councilor
At the same time, we want to express our sincere thanks to Sr. Anna Maria Parenzan and the councilors who worked alongside her over the past six years.
We had an audience with the Holy Father in the Vatican’s Clementine Hall on his name day, the Feast of St. Francis, the saint who repaired the Church of his time through the power of the Gospel.
With visible emotion, Sr. Anna Caiazza expressed her esteem and gratitude to the Holy Father on behalf of all the Daughters of St. Paul, scattered across all the world’s continents, saying:
Thank you for your teachings, made up of actions more than words, and for the witness of faith, humility, detachment and poverty that you continually offer us. We want to welcome your words with grateful hearts and participate wholeheartedly in your “Project to Renew the Church,” regarding which we too have great need….
The gift we want to offer you is symbolic–a sign of our gratitude for your Motu Proprio on the Word. It consists of some samples of the Word of God we have published in various languages and also the three volumes of the new Lectionary in Swahili, which we printed for the countries of Africa….
We are eager to hear your words to us and we ask your fatherly blessing on us, on the conclusion of our Chapter, on the new government that is beginning its mandate, and on all the members of the Pauline Family.
After having listened with great attention to the words of Sr. Anna, Pope Francis addressed a very important message to the Chapter delegates. Here are some excerpts from it:
Dear Sisters…the theme you chose [for your Chapter]…. “Arise and set out (Dt. 10:11), trusting in the Promise,” is powerfully biblical. It recalls the experience of Moses, of Abraham, of Elijah, of the People of God. The story of salvation, both that of the single person and of the people as a whole, is rooted in the willingness to set out, to leave, to begin a journey not through one’s own initiative but as the response to a call, trusting in a promise….
In these “sensitive and hard” times, as St. John Paul II called them, faith is more necessary than ever…. For you: to rediscover the elements of Pauline prophecy; to rediscover apostolic and missionary itinerancy, which cannot be lacking in a Daughter of St. Paul, in order to be able to inhabit the peripheries of thought and the existential peripheries….
Born for the Word, to proclaim to everyone the luminous path of life that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, you carry missionary audacity in your DNA. May this audacity never diminish, in the awareness that the protagonist of your mission is the Holy Spirit.
I hope that the Chapter you are celebrating is a favorable moment for asking yourselves: how can we express Pauline prophecy in response to the calls being addressed to us by our times?
It concerns setting out along the streets of the world, with a contemplative gaze that is full of empathy for the people of our time, who are hungering for the Good News of the Gospel…. I want to underscore the word compassion–a very evangelical word…. It is the compassion of God…. To be missionaries who witness to a life centered on Christ–for you in particular through your printed, digital and multimedia productions and by promoting a critical formation to the use of the media and also biblical animation…. In times of weariness and frustration, God commanded Elijah: “Get up and eat” (1 Kg. 19:5)…because he still had a long way to go (cf. 1 Kg. 19:7). Nourish yourselves with the bread of the Word and then move forward, in the midst of the lights and shadows of the cultural context in which we live. Risk! Risk! Be faithful to the perspective proper to you, that is, one that is not primarily a moral judgment but instead a search for opportunities to sow the Word with the “fantasy” of communication. In this context, I encourage you to revive the gift of faith by allowing yourselves to always be enlightened by the Word–the center of your personal and community life–in the Liturgy and lectio divina. It is the Word that keeps the apostolic spirit of your Institute alight. The gifts you brought me express your charism….
Dear Sisters, may the intercession of the Apostle of the Gentiles assist you always. May you also be accompanied by my blessing, which I cordially impart to you and to all your communities throughout the world….
The last day of the Chapter was one of praise and gratitude for the great gift of our 11th General Chapter, characterized by a sharing of the Chapter experience, which we will now take back to the communities in our various circumscriptions.
Sr. Anna Caiazza’s concluding address, the Eucharistic Celebration presided over by Fr. Valdir José De Castro, Superior General of the Society of St. Paul, and the participation of the Pauline Family made the conclusion of the Chapter a time of festivity and hope for the new journey that awaits us.
A special thanks to all of you who followed the Chapter through this humble Information Bulletin. United in prayer, we send you our affectionate best wishes.
Sr. Julieta Stoffel e Sr. Francesca Pratillo