European PTV Meeting in Budapest

From 29th December to 1st January, nine Professed of Temporary Vows (PTV) and five formators from the provinces of Belgium-France-Netherlands, Central Europe, England-Wales, Ireland-Scotland, Poland, and Spain were warmly welcomed by the community of Mese Utca at their lovely spiritual center in Budapest.

Our theme was the Vow of Poverty  A big challenge!!!

We first shared about what this vow means for us, and how it challenges us. Afterwards we had some concrete experiences of "poverty."

We started with an experience of being in darkness, guided by a visually impaired man. We touched our limits, and we had a glimpse of how it is to live without seeing anything. It was a powerful experience to feel our fears, to face our limits, to see the essential, to trust, to let ourselves be led by an other, an Other. 

Then we also experienced being in the city without anything, except for four transport tickets.  We had no money and no Hungarian language, in a town that was new to many of us. It was a time to walk, to pray, to encounter people, to meet new faces, to contemplate. It was also a time to be cold, to feel lonely as lots of homeless people do. It was a time of silence, a time to be.

We took time to share about these experiences with words and colours. We discover that there are lots of colours and light in the darkness.

Poverty is too deep to be confined to one definition. We were fortunate to have had an experience of it, even if only a little.  The few words that we could put to express it are:  

silence                      presence                  seeing the essential          

                  thanksgiving for all that God has given us             gift                  keeping in our heart        

                                  colours              light              dark               meeting              contemplation         

         thoughtfulness                 consolation                 compassion                   love

We also spent beautiful moments with our Hungarian sisters:  visiting the other community in Budapest, conversing with our sisters, playing the guitar....  We also had a lovely celebration to welcome the New Year:  peace prayer, recalling the peace we have received in the last year; Mass; a wonderful dinner prepared by the candidates; welcoming the new year with a toast, dancing hungarian dances, and singing traditional christmas songs from each country…   

Thank you so much to our Hungarian Sisters who welcomed us so warmly.  Thank you to our formators who led us during this time.  Thank you to all of you for your prayers. Happy New Year!!!  May this year open our hearts more and more towards people who are lacking the essentials in life. May we continue to follow Christ, poor, humble and gentle of Heart. 

The European PTVs


Back row (from left to right):
Bénédicte (BFN), Janet (ENW), Asia (POL), Kata (CEU), Siobhan (ENW), Barbara (POL), Steph (ENW)
Front row (from left to right):
Barbara (IRS), Alicja (POL), Amélie (BFN), Ewa (POL), Agnès (BFN), Panni (CEU)