Good Shepherds dazzle when working together for mission

There is no doubt about it: Good Shepherds dazzle when working together for Mission. Saint Mary Euphrasia recognized this and even spoke about it in a round-about sort of way. She said:

“Yes, our Congregation is built on love. Strive to perpetuate it among us. What is more beautiful or more desirable than this charity, this heartfelt love for each other? There must be only one heart in this body. Just as, when one tries to put spangles into a tiny tube and they escape all over the place, so, if we are not united among ourselves, we shall not be united to God, and we shall do no good. Charity and Zeal must be universal, that is, they should reach out and relate to everyone.”  St. Mary Euphrasia, Conferences, p.315

An invitation to dazzle

This newest phase of Congregational Chapter preparedness “Drawn by Love, Passionate for Justice: Phase 2 Into the Deep” — invites us to be dazzling. Until last year, I had no idea how much time, energy, mental effort, and preparation it takes to make dazzle happen.

Think about all we have accomplished together in the past year and a half:

  • talks by Brother Philip Pinto
  • virtual InterContinental Assembly
  • North America and province Zoom calls
  • Province Chapter

Talk about unifying! Not only that, there are personal reflections, prayers, thought, and time that are too numerous to count. With all of this content, meetings, and processes, it would be easy to feel overwhelmed. It helps to remember something Sr. Madeleine has often said: “This is not a test.”

My role as Chapter Animator

In order to bring life and engagement to this year of preparation, I was asked to serve as the Animator for PMNA’s preparation for the Congregational Chapter. PMNA Communications Coordinator Jeanette McDermott is serving as the Communications liaison. 

Monique Tarabeh, Communications Coordinator for the Good Shepherd Congregation, has created a one-stop-website for everything related to Chapter. She updates content and pictures frequently, so visit often at https://rgs.gssweb.org/chapter2021/

Every month, I send one or two emails to help break down the process into manageable pieces. The emails usually include a video to show where new resources are found and how to navigate through the website. There are also invitations to Zoom calls. Our goal is to increase the number and variety of voices that are heard and encourage as much participation and engagement as possible because we know that when we are together, we simply dazzle!

Heart wisdom

Our current journey involves making our way through the second video and accompanying reflection resources called “Heart Wisdom” and “Journey to the Heart.” It’s deep stuff!

We are offering optional Open Learning Groups (see invitations in your email) to view parts of the videos together and to have conversations with partners and   Sisters you otherwise might not have the opportunity to speak and interact with.

Everyone is invited to host a self-guided and self-directed Learning Group, either in person or on Zoom. Even if someone is a part of their own Learning Group, I believe it will also be beneficial to attend an Open Learning Group, again in order to hear a greater variety of voices.

There is much more to come as the weeks and months roll by, so remember to keep checking the Congregational Chapter website and check your email for “Into the Deep” updates and Zoom opportunities.

Please send me an email if you have any questions, ideas, concerns, or suggestions. [email protected]

Lizzie Cody

Lizzie Cody

Lizzie Cody is the Coordinator of the Mission Effectiveness office for Sisters of the Good Shepherd Province of Mid-North America.