U.S. Province Assembly: The Story

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Hard to believe, but it’s already been two weeks since we met in Provincial Assembly at Lansdale!  Breaking with our recent tradition, we met at the beginning of March rather than the beginning of January.  The idea was to avoid foul weather.  Guess what?  Snow, ice and sleet were predicted for the Friday morning.  Happily, although trees and grass got covered, the roads were okay, and we were able to begin without incident.  

Our time together was punctuated by PowerPoint slide shows – normally not “good news,” but in our case, not so bad!  Sr. Nuala shared the results of the CGP (the congregational meeting of provincials and the General Council held every 18 months):

•    The coming “fusion” with the Augustinian Sisters of Notre Dame de Paris (ANDP) in which the ANDP will join the RA (at their request), thereby swelling Assumption ranks by about 200 sisters, mostly in France and in Madagascar.
•    A Jeopardy style game that made learning about “New Generations of Catholic Sisters” a lot of fun.
•    Vital statistics of the congregation:  no births, of course, and quite a few deaths, but also, happily, about 35 new members across the congregation in the last 2 years.
•    Renovations on our motherhouse at #17, rue de l’Assomption in Paris just about to get underway.
•    And big plans for two big celebrations: 

     The Bicentennial of the Births of Saint Marie Eugenie and Mother Therese Emmanuel in 2016-17. 

    AND

    The Centennial of the U.S. Assumption in 2019.  (The RA arrived here in 1919.)

So, as they say:  WATCH THIS SPACE!

Wonderful stories of Sr. Ake’s stage in the Philippines and the experience of the Chaparral sisters during Pope Francis’ visit to Mexico (most notably to Ciudad Juarez, just across the border from El Paso) gave us a lot to cheer about.  We had lively liturgies and beautiful Eucharists celebrated by our brother, Fr. Alex Castro, A.A.  were high moments, as was the Sunday mass and coffee hour shared with our layfriends. Our meals were tasty and varied and things of beauty to boot, thanks to Helen Ojewski’s sure hand in the kitchen.  When we finally brought the curtain down on 53 PurplePower hours together, we were tired, happy, and very ready to watch the last episode of Downton Abbey.  Hard to believe that the Dowager Countess will no longer be improving our lives with lines like:  “What is a week end?”  Oh, Lady Violet, if only you’d been with us on ours!