Letter to all the Sisters of The Congregation 17 03 2020 Sr. Cécile MARION cnd-csaSuperior General To all the Sisters of the Congregation Dear Sisters, A difficult period of worldwide anxiety has descended on us. Just as we began Lent with the desire to go into the desert, to change our hearts, to be more deeply consecrated, our good intentions landed on us in a completely different guise. We are faced with a storm which has changed our plans, our programmes, all the coping mechanisms we normally use. It is an illness that can kill, and sorely tries those who struggle to keep others alive. Coronavirus, stronger than any worldly power, is pushing us to a change of heart we had not anticipated. We are experiencing how fragile life is and we have to obey orders to protect it. We are experiencing that, although we are together, on the same planet, we have no security, even though we try to support one another. We are experiencing the call to Faith as did the Apostles on the boat caught in a storm “Why are you afraid? Where is your faith?” This is happening now! Today and in the weeks to come we are called to cultivate and sustain interior peace so that we can pass it on to others who need it. We are called to hold firm in fragility and hope for other people who are at the end of their tether. We have to do what we can to help those near us, quietly, even though we are unable to meet face to face. A world where everything is sacred is coming to birth: we must give it our hands, our mouths, our hearts. In the mysterious encounter between humans and their Creator – our God - Easter has already arrived. I also want to keep you informed about the Chapter: will it be able to take place at the designated time and place? You won’t be surprised that we can’t see our way at the moment to answering this question with any certainty. We are therefore pausing making a decision as to whether it should go ahead or be postponed while international health embargoes are in place. At the same time, we are giving ourselves a cut-off date at the end of May or beginning of June, when we see what the airlines are able to offer. We’ll assess the situation in a month from now. Meanwhile, please could you send your contributions on the preparatory questions to the Generalate if you have not already done so, and get going on the fourth stage which will be sent out as soon as possible. May I remind you of the Letter of Convocation that I sent you on 31st May last year: “Celebrating a Chapter is an important and joyful time when all our sisters seek God’s will together for the world to which the Congregation is called to direct its energy. It is, too, a time when the spirit of our Founders illuminates once again our ongoing story, our educative mission. In a way it is a sacred time during which our charism and mission can be enriched, as can each one of us. (…) As well as being an experience of living together and sharing what we have experienced since 2014, the Chapter’s purpose is to elect a new General Council and to consider the paths the Congregation should take to remain faithful to its charism. (…) A Chapter is an occasion for common discernment and the sisters who take part in its work will have to prioritise the common good and be detached from their own individual interests. (…) This readiness is not just a question of the time you will give: it has to be an interior, spiritual readiness which allows us all to accept freely and joyfully what our mission asks of us.” Let us all accept that call! With my sisterly affection Sr. Cécile Marion cnd-csa. Superior General  Mark 4, 40.  Luke 8, 25.  The meeting of the General Council planned for the end of this month has also been cancelled. We’re preparing to work by means of Skype!