Provincial Superior's Circular n. 2 in 2013
A blessed and happy celebration of the 89th Anniversary of our Foundation as Disciples of the Divine Master! I would like to greet in a special way our five novices who made their First Religious Profession today and those of us who are celebrating our anniversary of religious consecration! May Jesus Master continue to teach us how to “see him more clearly, follow him more nearly, love him more dearly day by day,” as he taught our first Mother, Maria Scholastica Rivata.
On February 13, 2013 we shall be starting the Lenten Season with the celebration of Ash Wednesday. In this Year of Faith, Pope Benedict XVI has entitled his Lenten message "Believing in charity calls forth charity." (See complete text in the Vatican website: http://www.vatican.va). As we participate in the Church’s journey this Lent, the Pope exhorts us to deepen the relationship between faith and charity and reflect on this truth: “The entire Christian life is a response to God’s love. The first response is precisely faith as the acceptance, filled with wonder and gratitude, of the unprecedented divine initiative that precedes us and summons us. And the “yes” of faith marks the beginning of a radiant story of friendship with the Lord, which fills and gives full meaning to our whole life.” I am sure that these words of the Holy Father are greatly concretized in the sharing of our vocation stories already begun in our communities as a way of participating in the Congregational journey of vocational animation. On my part, it is a wonderful and empowering experience to hear how we all got “awakened” by God’s love, struggled in the search for God’s will, and succeeded in overcoming the obstacles to live out the primacy of God in our lives. This storytelling in itself also becomes a means of “faith sharing” and evangelization of oneself and of each other. With this process I pray that all of us may we truly be enlivened to share the wonders of God’s love especially with the young people around us.
The Holy Father continues with his Lenten message: “But it is not enough for God that we simply accept his gratuitous love. Not only does he love us, but he wants to draw us to himself, to transform us in such a profound way as to bring us to say with Saint Paul: “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (cf. Gal 2:20). (…) If we open ourselves to his love, we allow him to live in us and to bring us to love, with him, in him and like him; only then does our faith become truly “active through love” (Gal 5:6); only then does he abide in us” (cf. 1 Jn 4:12). The active charity called forth by our Gospel faith is expressed through our PDDM apostolic ministries. This is part of the “sacred space” where we receive and give God’s love, and where we concretely participate in the Paschal life and mission of Jesus our Master and in his work of transformation. This active charity challenges us to organize ourselves so that we can generously and efficiently serve God’s people. It is also part of the implementation of Mother General’s recommendation after the canonical visit last year to “reorganize the workshops and establish norms for good working relations with the PLMC, with a centralized coordination at the provincial level, in dialogue with local realities (cf. n. 6 of the 7 Point Program and also Provincial Plan 3.2). May I ask your collaboration then to ready yourselves in the following months as we proceed with this process of re-organization? Let us offer prayers for each other so that we can be open to change, ready to learn and unlearn, as needs be, so that the true spirit of co-responsibility in communion and service be concretized in our communities and apostolic endeavors.
For all the other indications for our personal and community programming this Lent, kindly refer to the First Circular of Mother General (dated January 12, 2013).
Let us accompany our brothers in the Society of St. Paul with our prayers for their Interchapter Assembly (February 14-28, St. Paul Center for Renewal, Alfonso, Cavite). We pray for Sr. M. Magdalene Magallanes as she leaves for her new assignment come February 26. I also count on your prayers for my upcoming visit to our Taiwan communities from Feb. 22-28.
May Jesus our Divine Master guide and protect us in our Paschal journey.
In him I greet you all affectionately,
Sr. M. Gemma Victorino