What is the heartbeat of a community?
What gives it a certain character that attracts when encountered?
What lures it and spurs it through changing times and places?
It is the gift of a shared sacred story and a common vision of God and the world.
It is charism.
Director: Lorna Cooney, SNJM
SNJM PILGRIMAGE OF THE HEART RETREATS:
FANNING THE FLAME OF OUR CHARISM
A Congregation on Pilgrimage!
Beginning in 2012 and continuing through 2016, over 700 sisters, associates and lay collaborators from Brazil, Canada, Lesotho, Peru and the U.S. will have gathered in various locations for a unique retreat experience. In 17 groups, ranging from 18 to 130 participants, aged 20 to 105, retreatants become virtual pilgrims, travelling in imagination to the sites in Quebec, Canada,* where Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher was born, lived and founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in 1843. In a reflective and prayerful atmosphere over a period of seven days, and with the use of film, art, drama, song and sharing, the pilgrims revisit their personal story and call in the context of the life, charism and legacy of Marie-Rose and the women who were with her at the beginning.
Deepening our knowledge of our foundresses and of our on-going SNJM sacred story strengthens bonds, sparks renewed commitment, and inspires true pride and profound gratitude in belonging to a community that has been given a special gift (charism) for the Church and world. In each era we seek to keep the fire of the original inspiration alive; these pilgrimage retreats have proved to be a wonderful venue for doing this in our times.
Facilitated by Sister Lorna Cooney, Director of the Congregational Charism Office located in Longueuil, QC, with a team in each location, the retreat is based on A Pilgrimage of the Heart with Mother Marie-Rose to Our SNJM Sacred Sites published by this office in May 2010.
*Many pilgrims experienced this retreat on Quebec soil itself; a good number had the blessing of traveling together to the main historical sites, sites considered sacred because of all that they signify about the roots of the congregation. Travelling along the Richelieu River, the pilgrims spent time in St-Antoine, St-Denis, Beloeil, and Mont-St-Hilaire. Continuing their journey, they headed towards the Saint-Laurent River, and reached Longueuil, foundation site of the congregation.