On Saturday March 23, 2013 the Charity Federation Grassroots in the NY metro area met in Convent Station, NJ to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the council with a daylong seminar called Vatican II- Memory and Reform-Revisiting the Council, Revisiting our Charism. The ambience in the room spoke of spring and renewal. TThe archival display of a handwritten copy of the conferences of St. Vincent given by the NY Charities to the NJ Charities drew many into the reality of connection and shared roots.
Over a hundred Sisters and Daughters of Charity, associates and friends gathered to be energized and challenged by Maureen Sullivan OP, a theology professor in St. Anselm’s College, NH. She reminded those present of the unfinished story of Vatican II and the world’s need for “credible witnesses who have been touched by the sacred” (.Benedict XVI). She opened with a challenge. We are at a crossroads with some choices 1- quit the road that is going nowhere 2-give in to fatigue or 3-refuse to accept the status quo and insist on the celebrating of the coming of the unknown, but surely coming, future.
We were entertained and inspired by her stories of this generation’s relation to the council and she invited us as she does her students to move from mere membership to dynamic discipleship-to be on fire. The quality she mentioned most often and demonstrated herself was passion. “Everything looks different when you’re in love.” Through table sharing and open mike we were supported and reinvigorated to be planters of the seed and as the seed never sees the fruit let that mandate be enough. As one participant reflected,
“Our speaker urged us to trust that Vatican II is far from over. It is alive now, and each of us can carry on its legacy by being living witnesses to the God with whom we fell in love. We need to be on fire with passion for the mission of Charity!”
Submitted by Kati Hamm SC