We, Sisters of the Jesus Bom Pastor Province, based in Caxias do Sul/RS, were gathered in Assembly at our “Pousada Bom Pastor” in S. Pedro da Terceira Légua, from January 15th to 22nd, 2024.
Celebrating our VII Provincial Chapter, we meet to, in tune with the deliberations of the 10th GC, plan our life and mission for the next sexennium 2024-2030.
We began our journey these days with the presence of Father Érico Hammes, priest of the Diocese of Santa Cruz do Sul - RS. With great clarity, depth and conviction, Father Érico shared with us an intelligent and systematized reading of the global and ecclesiastical situation we are experiencing today. The reality of a world in constant and rapid transformation affects us daily and challenges us to seek solutions together, projecting forward, despite our smallness, vulnerability and fragility. In a world that tends to 'make enemies' and eliminate diversity, we need platforms for dialogue, stronger partnerships, more agile policies in favor of life. We need not only circumstantial changes, but structural changes in society and the Church. We need the Holy Spirit to renew the earth and grow as a synodal Church, a Church of mercy!
Looking at the world, on the second day, we opened ourselves up to listening, with the ears of our hearts, to the reality of our provincial body: communities, paths taken, projects in progress, economic situation, challenges... A look at this ours family with affection and hope!
On the third day, the morning was dedicated to deepening the General Objective of the Congregation for the next six years. Sister Sandra M. Pascoalato shared her reflection with us, working especially on the biblical-charismatic dimension of the first part of the Objective: “Plasped by the love of Jesus the Good Shepherd...”. Research into various texts of Scripture allows us to say that recognizing that God is the potter who continues to shape humanity and the entire universe is characteristic of the ‘spirit of wisdom’ and the ‘spirit of prophecy’. The secret is to ask God for ‘a listening heart’ and the ‘ear of a disciple’ who, ‘from morning to morning allows himself to be awakened by the Lord to hear his Word’.
In the afternoon, Sister Ângela Soldera helped us reflect on the theme: ‘Digital Culture: Incidence and Implications for the pastoral mission today’. A significant text cited by the advisor was the document “Towards full presence. A pastoral reflection on participation in social networks”, from the Dicastery for Communication. This is how the document begins: «Great steps have been taken in the digital era, but one of the urgent issues that must still be addressed is how we, as individuals and ecclesiastical community, must live in the digital world with “love for our neighbor”, genuinely present and attentive to each other on our common journey along the “digital highways”. In effect, the question is no longer if, but how we should participate in the digital world». This provocation encourages us to continue delving deeper into the topic.
In the days that followed we dedicated ourselves to Provincial Planning for the next six years, according to the Areas: Mission, Following Christ, Vocational Animation Service, Training and Evangelical Service of Authority and Administration, and defining what we will undertake for the year 2024. These were days of intense work, but lived with lightness and participation, also because it was facilitated by the work we had previously carried out in our communities.
There are many aspects that contributed to this very important moment for our provincial journey: the welcoming environment, the relevant and challenging content, the methodology used in conducting the work, the moderation service and others provided by various sisters, the prayerful and celebratory moments , the sharing that each community did about its life and mission, the walk together, the fraternal and serene coexistence, the prayer of sisters and friends...
And... crowning the week's journey, the beautiful Eucharistic celebration, praising and thanking God for the 60 years of Life as a Shepherd of the Sisters: Edviges Bortolotto and Maria Sartori.
We said goodbye with a festive lunch, with joy and a great desire to embrace the people that Jesus the Good Shepherd entrusted to us. To God our Good Shepherd, to everyone who accompanied us these days with their prayers, our infinite gratitude!
Ir. Sandra M. Pascoalato, sjbp