“Celebrating the crossing of Frontiers”
Our fifth day was a celebration of the crossing of frontiers. Our first words on meeting each other were: ‘Happy Feast’. It was a real moment of rejoicing in gratitude for the life of Philippine Duchesne, the one who never allowed her dream to be lost in the passage of time, and who gives us a new opportunity to face the challenge of dreaming how we are to practice JPIC with the same zeal with which she lived her life.
We had the joy of meeting with some of our sisters from the Philippines District, who came to share in the feast and to celebrate with us in Tagaytay. As an international Society, we celebrated the Eucharist, which was presided by Edward, an Irish Spiritan priest who is the brother of Carmel Flynn from the Province of Ireland-Scotland. Barbara Dawson invited us to allow ourselves to be touched by the witness of Philippine, the woman who crossed frontiers, and to allow her to lead us forward in our reflections and along the road that we are walking in the spirit of JPIC. In her reflection on the readings, Diane Roche from the Province of United States-Canada helped us to remember how the Society lived within the various systems of our respective countries, and especially during Philippine’s time. She reminded us that Philippine wanted to break the system of slavery that flourished during her lifetime, leading her to try to find clandestine ways of helping women of colour. She likewise shared how the the Province of United States-Canada is currently trying to address this reality.
We are citizens of our world and we are invited to create spaces that might help to break unjust structures. Let us remember that we cannot do this alone, but that we CAN do it together, and with the help of Philippine, to whom we can confide these efforts.