Reflection after Week 2
We began our second week of the Chapter enriched by our expanded knowledge of the Society’s reality, the portrait of which we had created together. Now to complete it, we needed to explore our shadows by identifying those truths of our collective life as RSCJ. So we carefully began to discuss in work groups and by pairs those difficult issues that can endanger wellbeing and trust among our different regions, countries and cultures. Our exchange was clear and honest.
Another element to our portrait building was the presentation of the Congregation Study, which projects our resources (human, financial and properties) into the future. This information is essential to our planning for the future of the Society and all our members. The professionalism and clarity of this complex data engendered in all of us a sense of gratitude and appreciation for all who have contributed to this significant study.
All of the elements of the portrait were brought together in creative ways to communicate a picture of our Society, showing convergences as well as challenges we face as we move into the future. We experienced great joy and laughter as each group presented its handiwork. What is important is that through both serious dialogue and creative expression we have been able to capture a portrait of the Society today, in her strengths as well as in her fragilities. This realistic sense of the whole gives us a strong perspective as we began to look at the emerging future of our world.
Grasping the emerging future entailed both individual study and group work. With the help of the internet, we each explored a phenomenon which interested us or which we intuitively sensed would challenge our assumptions. A master list of topics was mapped, and from this the categories emerged. These categories became the working teams that further explored these topics. Discoveries from this exploration and insights from the time of retreat were then brought together into creatively-designed presentations that were shared with the whole body.
The image of the future that emerged is a fragile globe in need of our action on behalf of the earth and her people. Such fragility coupled with hope-filled potential reflects both our world and the Society. In this spirit, with both an understanding of the imminent future and the Society, we continue the work of the Chapter.
Angela Corsten rscj and Suzanne Cooke rscj