October 1st : OPENING OF THE XX GENERAL CHAPTER
We gathered at the Entrance of the Aula at 08.45 (Italian time) for the Opening Celebration of our meeting. We came from different countries, cultures and languages, with different experience of life – and we are united knowing, that Jesus, the Savior, has called us. We entered the aula along a path, and through the doorway, lined with images of the “suffering” people in our many realities. We do not close our eyes to the suffering people – we learn from them in a deeper way, to be mystical and prophetical. When we gather here, we know that we are in relationship with people all over the world – especially with the suffering – with women and children. They will be present and accompany us. Each day, as we enter the aula, we will pass among them. We will be reminded of our world each day during our meeting as we come and go, to and from the aula.
Inside of the Aula, S. Therezinha Rasera, our General Leader, called us each by name. And we said “Yes, here I am”. Then she gave to each of us a pearl – as a sign of the treasure that each one of us, each human being – carries. What a gift, when we are able to open the shell, to open ourselves and allow this pearl to become visible! The pearl will remind us during the meeting that our personal giftedness is always at the service of others.
Then, we listened to the opening words of S. Therezinha. She encouraged us to remain open to the signs of the times and to the Holy Spirit in order to be faithful to our Salvatorian vocation toward the future, as “Salvatorian women – mystic and prophetic – in our suffering world”. Finally we celebrated the Eucharistic liturgy, presided by the Archbishop Joseph William Tobin, Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. Our Salvatorian brothers F. Piet Cuijpers, F. Milton Zonta and F. Mario Agudelo were also with us.