By 26 July 2019Chapter 2019




Dear Sisters, and dear Brothers,


one month ago we started here our General Chapter, and we walked together on the road of “inner freedom in action”, “to respond to God’s call for a broken world”. We reflected on this subject, and much more than this – we lived it. This Chapter transformed us. No one of us goes home from here the same as she came.


I thank Mathieu, I thank Father Marc and Father Eden, and in a very special way I thank Sr. Dorothy and her councillors, to have prepared this “Chapter – Way” for us, and to have walked it together with us. You surprised us many times, as we sat down in the Chapter Hall not knowing what piece of work was waiting for us. We trusted the process, and we are all happy about it, because it is this process that transformed us.


And today, we are not taking home any results, any documents and “letters to the Congregation”, except one letter- and this “letter” is each one of us. We go back to the same situations and realities we came from, but we are not the same.


We experienced new ways of listening to each other, of facing our own reality with courage, of letting go of “what cannot continue”. We listened to God’s calls and made Him our guide to draft a roadmap for the coming six years.


We commit ourselves again today “to respond to God’s call for a broken world”, knowing that we ourselves, as individuals, as communities and as Congregation are broken and wounded.

During the Chapter, a story from the Talmud came to my mind several times, and I would like to share it with you:

A Rabbi encounters the prophet Elijah, and he asks him: “When will the Messiah corne?”
The prophet answers him: “Go and ask him yourself.”

The Rabbi replies: “Where is he, and how will I know him?”

Elijah says to him: He is at the gates of the city, sitting among the poor, covered in wounds.
The others unbind all their wounds at the same time and then bind them up again. But he
unbinds one at a time and binds it up again, saying to himseif: “Perhaps I shall be needed: if
so I must always be ready so as not to delay for a moment “.


This story is used Henri Nouwen in his book “The Wounded Healer” to describe Christ. Far different from the Messiah that many expected, Christ comes as one wounded and broken, dying on the cross to save us. And we give our lives to follow Jesus Christ.


We are invited, as individuals and as Congregation, to recognize our own wounds, one by one, and search for ways of healing. And we are invited to go,… “among the poor, covered in wounds”, on the streets of our broken world, “always ready when we shall be needed”.


St. Emilie sends us again today, each one of us here, each sister of the Congregation and each person living our charism, and she says to each one of us: “Do not lose sight of the aim for which we are united: God and His greater glory, the service of the neighbour and the ardent desire to be of use to him.” – “Go, and with what you have and will receive do all the good you can.”


Sr. Monika Duellmann