On February 1st several London-based RSCJ attended special Masses and receptions for the Year of Consecrated Life at Westminster and Southwark cathedrals. As age and infirmity prevented us as a community from being able to attend the diocesan celebration, we decided to host our own the day after. We invited the frail elderly from nine communities, living locally, to join us for the celebration. Some sent their apologies, as they had prior engagements or were unable to travel. On the day itself, eight senior religious joined with the Duchesne and New House Communities for the Celebration – the Sisters of Charity of St Louis from East Sheen, the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary from Putney and the SMG Sisters from Roehampton.
We took inspiration from both of the celebrations at the cathedrals the day before. As the 2nd fell on a Monday, Frances had been able to attend both Services with her SMG Sisters and was able to share a little of what the homilists said in each celebration.
We liked the idea of the Love of Jesus being at the heart of our friendships, of our community living and shining through our actions. We took to heart the challenge to be on the lookout to see signs of the wounds on the Body of Christ and to make efforts to alleviate His sufferings. We also found inspiration in the idea of being like a candle, used to light the way so that others following may both see and find direction in their lives. We took up the call to see, be and to share our distinctive charisms. We found the Act of Dedication and the Prayer of Recommitment very meaningful and were glad to have several copies of the Service at Southwark Cathedral.
After the Service, which we held in the Chapel, we shared a lovely tea together and chatted happily for almost an hour! We all agreed that it was good for us to meet up with religious from other congregations and resolved to do it more often.