On December 12, in Rome, the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) celebrated its 50th Jubilee of service to women’s Religious Congregations around the world.
The Eucharistic Celebration, which was held at the Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina near St Peter’s Basilica, opened with a beautiful procession of singing, dancing and drumming by a large group of African Sisters. Thus the tone was set for a magnificent commemoration attended by hundreds of religious in Rome. The Eucharist was presided by Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Religious.
The highlight of the occasion was the commissioning of ten sisters from eight congregations who are forming this community in two houses in Sicily. Three of these sisters are RSCJ: (Maria Gaczoł POL, Paola Paoli ITA, Florence de la Villéon BFN). The community of Sisters will work with the local Church to offer pastoral and spiritual support to newly arriving migrants and refugees. The initiative marks the fiftieth jubilee of UISG and is a practical response to a very great need today.
The Society was well represented at the celebration with Sister Kathleen Conan and members of the General Council, the Mother House community, members of the province of Italy, and several of our sisters making a significant contribution to the international choir.
Three of our sisters were mentioned for their previous roles at UISG: Sister Françoise De Lambilly RSCJ, General Secretary from 1966-1973, Sister Victoria de Castejon RSCJ, General Secretary from 2003-2010 and Sister Helen McLaughlin RSCJ, President of the Executive Board of UISG from 1986-1992.
After the liturgy, all were invited to continue the celebration at the nearby offices of the UISG where refreshments were offered.