At the end of June 2022, Ministry Services offered a new retreat, Proclaiming The Fire Within, at the Cranaleith Spiritual Center in Philadelphia. This retreat builds on the foundational retreat Claiming The Fire Within, which is offered every other year. Six lay leaders from sponsored and co-sponsored ministries and province departments gathered to explore more deeply the Directional Statement of the 24th General Chapter Love Gives Everything.
Presenter Sister Mary Maher, SSND walked the participants through developments over time in religious life and their constitutions, world issues, and the growing understanding of the evolving charism. She cited Dr. Bernhard Lee’s definition of charism as “an event that we are going to co-create with God,” thus highlighting its dynamic and relational nature.
She further pointed to three requirements to make charism happen: the rootedness and formation in SSND’s deep story, the embeddedness in the current culture, and meeting the needs of the particular time. She also mentioned that we are living through a critical turning point in our time and the connection to developing the charism in light of You Are Sent.
Together with prayer leaders Sister Rita Bueche and Associate Donna Bilek, the retreat team created an atmosphere that invited and allowed people to share, dialogue, apply what they learned, reflect and pray, and - most of all - to surrender oneself into God’s ever present and unconditional love.
Cami Colarossi from Notre Dame Preparatory school raved about her experience during the week: “This retreat was a gift! It provided me time to reflect, pray, and think about how I may help carry on this wonderful legacy of SSND.”