Bounded Missionary Families is the network of the Congregations founded by the PIME missionaries in different parts of the world. On 16th July 2023 PIME organized an online formation session for BMF on “Synodality and its relevance to the consecrated life”.
The participants were Fr. Ferruccio Brambillasca, the Superior General of PIME, Rev. Sr. Antonella Tovaglieri, Congregation Leader of the MSI. Together with them the Superiors and representatives of different Congregation and Institutions: Sisters of the Reparation, Sisters of Providence, Catechist Sisters of St. Anne, Shanti Rani Sisters, Missionary Sisters of St. Joseph of Anyang, Catechist Sisters of Immaculate Heart of Mary Queen of Angels, Silsilah Dialogue Movement and Emmaus Dialogue Movement.
Our MSI sisters participated from Brazil Nord, India, Italy, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea. There were 50 connections and from each a group of sisters attended.
The resource person was Sr Inigo Joachim Sisters of St Anne – Madras, (SSA) residing in New Delhi India bringing solace and liberation to the prisoners in Bihar jail by teaching moral values and counseling to inmates and keeping in touch with their families. She was Superior General for three terms and was invited to the Synod to represent the religious women of Asia.
In her reflection she highlighted what inspired the Holy Father to introduce this theme: “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission”. Holy Father tries to see what God’s message is in this turmoil and abuses and confusion. He wants to respond as a leader, he always had an extraordinary ability to see beyond the moment. Being a migrant himself, he knows the pain of migrants, knows the cry of the poor, knows how the church should respond to the needs of the church.
Synodality is not a new concept. Pope Francis is re-reading the Vatican documents in an innovative, differently and radically way and has launched the Synod 2024. He knows that the church exists for the world, and the world is changing; the church should also be vibrant, youthful and relevant to the modern world, so he feels the need to renew the church. COVID-19 came to cleanse the world and SYNOD is coming to cleanse the church. 2000 years ago Jesus said “go into the whole world”, but after 2000 years do we know the world? Do we equip ourselves to enter this world? We have fixed ideas and fixed mentality and try to understand the world, not from how the world is. After 60 years of Vatican II the documents have not reached the faithful. Holy Father is interpreting in a new way what is said in the Vatican II documents.
God calls us to a continuous transformation; structural and personal changes have to happen to be relevant to today’s world. Change is inevitable, change is a continuous process, and it is an unchangeable reality. If there is no change in us, we will be outdated and the Holy Father says that change should come from the people, from the root. Today’s problems, needs and generations are different, but we need to participate in this world that is changing. We ask the Holy Spirit to renew the face of the earth. God is really renewing the face of the world and we need to be part of this renewal. In religious communities usually we take care of the structural changes, but if personal conversion is not happening, then those changes are only external, even though they should go together. Pope challenges us not to make our generalates as custom office, but to make our hospitals as field hospitals, to know the smell of our sheep, to go to the peripheries.
Our God is a walking God, he was journeying with the suffering and wounded people. Jesus came down next to the people, sat down with them. Our mission, so, is to bear witness to God’s love amid the whole human family. By baptism we are all made new, and everyone is a protagonist, we all have our part to play. Let’s make our spiritual journey together, listening with the ear of the heart more fruitfully, so that we can fulfil the mission of evangelizing in the world.
Sr. Bridgit Suvakeen, General Direction