The Holy week we spent from Thursday to Easter Monday at Ecce Homo, with ConnecSion and the other sisters, celebrating Easter in the city where all the significant events happened.
The month of April ended with goodbyes: Andréa and Maria left for Cracow, Poland, for their first Mission assignment during the Apostolic year, to “Go and proclaim.” At the beginning of May, Lucia and Nancy left the Novitiate community for their first Mission commitment in Ecce Homo.
ConnecSion finished at the end of April with the sharing of Charism projects by novices and young sisters. They were outstanding presentations, shared with real joy. Then some sisters of the ConecSion group left for their home countries; others returned to their commitment at Ecce Homo.
On the 20th of January we celebrated, with special events, the 175th anniversary of the apparition to Fr. Mary and so we continued our learning about Fr. Mary in four sessions at the beginning of May. The first was at Ratisbonne, with Br. Elio leading us in a study of texts and discussion on Fr. Mary Alphonse Ratisbonne’s life in Jerusalem. In Ein Karem, the brothers and sisters gathered in Fr. Mary’s house, where we read some passages about the last days of Fr. Mary, May 1-6, 1884, written by Sr. Eleonora. Then on the 6th of May we celebrated the anniversary of Fr. Mary Alphonse’s death, and at Ecce Homo we looked at entries in the house journal about Fr. Mary and the sisters, the history of the beginning of Ecce Homo.
Sr. Ivone returned to her volunteer work in the St. Louis Hospice which provides care for the dying, including Jews, Muslims and Christians, Israelis and Palestinians, along with refugees.
Juliana’s sister and brother-in-law visited the Holy Land, and so she spent time travelling with them in Galilee and Jerusalem, to show them the Holy places and to enjoy with them some relaxation like bathing in the hot springs of Hammat Gader on the Yarmuk River near the border with Jordan about 20 km from Tiberias.
Colette continues to be the soul and pillar of the guesthouse of Ein Karem where many Israelis and more and more Palestinians as well come to meet and to learn from one another in commitments for peace and encounters for life.
Now, through the last days of May and moving into June, only Sr. Ivone, Sr. Colette and Sr. Juliana are in the Novitiate Community, praying, sharing, and preparing for our holidays and home visits.
During this months you will find on our Website ministry reports from the first group of the Novitiate in Jerusalem 2014-2016 . I would like to say a big thank you to all young sisters who took the time, the encouragement to write and trust to share your life as young sisters in Ministry with all of us on our Congregational Novitiate Website.
At this time, as we await the “power from on high” which is the gift of the Holy Spirit that we will celebrate at Pentecost, we pray that both you and we will be bold and fearless witnesses of God’s love and Jesus’ care for all in our very troubled world.
Juliana for the St. John in Montana community