On Thursday, 14th of January 2016,
nine RSCJ, who are in Rome for probation
(a period of intensive preparation for final commitment),
received their name and devise.
Gathered together for a significant ritual in the life of the Society of the Sacred Heart, the probanists received the name and devise which reflect their experience during probation, and which will accompany them individually and as a group as they live their vocation into the future.
In her conference, Superior General Kathleen Conan RSCJ recalled the particular events that marked this probation:
The violence of the attacks in Paris on November 13th has affected you in a special way, as you had left France only hours earlier to return to Rome. The migrant crisis that is happening in various parts of the world, and in a particular way in Europe, has been very present to you, both in the images of waves of refugees traveling by land or by sea, seeking refuge and safety, and in the small effort through the inter- congregational project in Sicily to respond to those arriving. The reality of climate change is affecting the lives of even more people with serious consequences for the near future; yet the Paris Accord on Climate Change also gives us hope that we can change our hearts and our choices.
In the Church, we continue to experience a time of hope and challenge, as Pope Francis calls us to live the attitudes of Jesus and the calls of the gospel, to build a world where everyone experiences tenderness, mercy, inclusion and access to the resources for living a human life with dignity. As we approach the end of the year of Consecrated Life, we hear his question, “Is Jesus really our first and only love, as we promised he would be when we professed our vows?” (Apostolic Letter, 21 November 2014) As you make your final profession, you are committing yourselves to live, in this world of the 21st century, the love with which Jesus loves.
At the opening of probation, they were invited to "Drink from the source of God's mercy." Listening to their journeys, the General Council noted that throughout these months, and especially during the thirty-day retreat, the probanists "have opened themselves in trust to God's love and have let the waters of God's mercy refresh and nourish them...."
Full of joy and gratitude for the graces the probanists have received and for their desire and commitment to live those graces for others in their countries and provinces, as professed Religious of the Sacred Heart:
The General Council gave this probation group the name:
Love Transforms All
El Amor Transforma Todo
with the devise:
You are the Center: the way, the truth, and the life (Jn 14:6)
Tú eres el Centro: el camino, la verdad y la vida (Jn 14,6)
In multiple ways, each of these RSCJ encountered "the grace of the love that transforms all!" This grace has led them "to know, to experience, to proclaim that God is the Center of their life, that Jesus is the one who centers their life"; [and] "the movement of such grace bears fruit in the desire and a call to live what has been received, to be God's transforming love towards all..."
As they make their final profession on Sunday, the 17th of January, we will rejoice with each of them, with their provinces, and with the whole Society, echoing Sister Conan's words of blessing:
We will celebrate God’s faithfulness and and yours
as you commit yourselves as professed Religious of the Sacred Heart.
May Jesus always be your Center, your way, your truth, your life!
With great confidence and joy, we will send you to BE God’s transforming love for all.
The Probation Community with the General Council
Photo taken after the Closing Conference