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But in reality, the charism of religious people is like yeast: Prophecy announces the spirit of the Gospel. Waking Up the World – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Mary%20of%20the%20Passion

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Mary of the Passion
A Credible Witness to the Compassion and Joy of
the Gospel
And I asked myself HOW in this time of War,
Violence, Terrorism, Unspeakable Planetary and
Human Suffering, Sexual Abuse, Unwanted Children,
Refugees, Arrogance, Greed, Aging, Migrants,
Drugs, Disease, Epidemics, few Vocations to
Religious Lifewith graphic and devastating
images the list goes on, and I ask myself HOW
In the midst of this closeness to despair, loss
of hope.. I found the words, The joy of the
Gospel is such that it cannot be taken away from
us by anyone or anythingthe evils of our world
and those of the Church must not be excuses for
diminishing our commitment and our fervor
the Holy Spirit always radiates in the midst
of darknessOur faith is challenged to discern
how wine can come from water and how wheat can
grow in the midst of weeds Pope Francis, EG 84,
in our times, divine Providence is leading us
to a new order of human relations which by human
effort and even beyond all expectations, are
directed to the fulfillment of Gods superior and
inscrutable designs, in which everything, even
human setbacks, leads to the greater good of the
Church. John XXIIII, October 11, 1962
My question HOW ? How can I re-read history,
events, the heritage of persons who could see in
a new way?
The Word of God constantly shows us how God
challenges those who believe in him to
Abraham received the call to set out for a new
land Genesis 121-3 Moses heard Gods call,
Go I send you, and led the people toward the
promised land. Exodus 310 To Jeremiah, God
says To all whom I send you, you shall go.
Jerimiah 17
In our day Jesus command to go and make
disciples echoes in the changing scenarios and
ever new challenges to the Churchs mission of
evangelization, and all of us are called to take
part in this new missionary going forth.
every community must discern the path that the
Lord points out all of us are asked to obey his
call to go forth from our own comfort zone in
order to reach all the peripheries in need of
the light of the Gospel.
The Gospel joy which enlivens the community of
disciples is a missionary joy.
Evangelium Gaudium 20, 21
a time of Kairos
Kairos is a time when conditions are right for
the accomplishment of a crucial action the
opportune and decisive moment
  • Among the challenges for us living in the midst
    of the joys and sorrow of Gods people in todays
    world, are the following
  • the continuing calls to a new way of seeing that
    we encounter as we come to deeper understandings
    of the work of the Second Vatican Council which
    continues to unfold after 50 years

  • the significance of our call to religious life
    celebrated in this Year of Consecrated Life
  • the meaning of being credible witnesses to the
    joy and compassion of the Gospel

These two challenges are dynamically related.
Personal Encounter
I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this
very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with
Jesus ChristEG 3
Formation in the FMM charism is founded on a
personal encounter with Mary of the Passion, GC
2014, 2.2.4
  • A Personal Encounter with Jesus and with
  • Mary of the Passion creatively invites us to
  • a new way of seeing
  • recognize the significance of our call to
    religious life
  • embrace the meaning of being credible witnesses
    to the joy and compassion of the Gospel.

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The Holy Spirit, working through the Second
Vatican Council, has been enriching the creative
insights of the Church, even in the midst of
painful struggle.
We continue to be strongly reminded of the
Ecclesial Vocation of Mary of the Passion as we
pursue the path of the Church as FMM today.

With the Special General Chapter of 1966, we FMM
began to probe deeply into what Vatican II meant
for the life of the Institute in this new moment
An important part of this process has been the
Consultations of all the FMM throughout the world
that have taken place regularly since that time.
We have a rich and challenging vision from the
Documents of Vatican II that continue to open
our eyes. Perfectae Caritatis has been a
momentous starting point for religious.
Through this Document, Vatican II asked Religious
Congregations of Women and Men to identify the
elements of their founding charism as expressed
and lived by the Founder or Foundress.
Perfectae Caritatis 2, Ecclesiae Sanctae II, 12
a, 16 (3)

This request of Vatican II led us to realize how
our FMM vocation continues to be integrated with
the life of the Church in this new moment of
  • This work of identifying the elements of the
    founding charism in the life and practice of Mary
    of the Passion was part of the foundational work
    done in preparation for the New Constitutions

The fruit of this work affirms the founding
charism of the Institute first given to Mary of
the Passion, as she expressed and lived this Gift
of the Holy Spirit.
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At the time of our Final Profession, we each
assume responsibility for our Charism as a
Franciscan Missionary of Mary.
Remembering events from 1966 forward intensive
efforts have been generating new life throughout
the Institute.
These efforts are developing different ways of
seeing. Seeing in new ways, we are discovering
new expressions of Unity as FMM from all cultures
and contexts as we discover our roots and how
they intersect with life today. This process
constantly renews the life of our FMM charism.  
  • Vatican II reaffirmed
  • the Holy Spirit
  • is working among us


challenging listening, questioning, disrupting,
opening, healing, leading us to finally grasp
that the Spirit of Truth is present in the
coming together of differences, mingled in
creation and in every person
In our prophetic role as women religious
missionaries we have been part of the movement of
examining the meaning of Vatican II, and together
with others, have uncovered new ways of
witnessing and proclaiming the Gospel.
Our General Chapter 2014 affirms that we are
Discovering with enthusiasm and thanksgiving the
renewed freshness of our FMM charism entrusted by
God to Mary of the Passion. cf.
GC 2014 Document Our Vision
Pope Francis is giving a special impulse of
continuing renewal in the vision of Vatican II.
He offers us some stirring reminders
The call to be a missionary disciple is received
at Baptism and hence every baptized person is a
missionary EG 119,120,121
We are consecrated to live the Gospel of Joy.
This is the Year of Consecrated Life.
A message from Pope Francis, 2 February
We are all missionary disciples. EG 119
-121 We are called as missionary disciples to go
to the peripheries to those who are not
valued, the poor, the suffering. EG
20,21,24,197, 199,201,206, 207
Francisa mystic and pilgrim, who lived in
simplicity and in wonderful harmony with God,
with others, with nature and with himself.
He shows us just how inseparable the bond is
between concern for nature, justice for the poor,
commitment to society and interior peace.
Laudate Si 10
In this Year of Consecrated Life Pope Francis
speaks of the Charisms of religious life
The charism is one, but, as Saint Ignatius used
to say, it needs to be lived according to the
places, times and persons. The charism is not a
bottle of distilled water. It needs to be lived
energetically as well as reinterpreted
culturally. Waking Up the World, p.6
A Religious must never give up prophesizing
Prophecy makes noise, uproar, some say a mess.
Waking Up the World
But in reality, the charism of religious people
is like yeast Prophecy announces the spirit of
the Gospel. Waking Up the World
The charism perdures, is strong the work fades
away. Sometimes the Institute and the work are
confused. The Institute is creative, is always
looking for outlets. In this way too the
peripheries change and a checklist can be made
that is always different. Waking Up the
The recent General Chapter 2014 holds before us
the importance of a personal encounter with
Mary of the Passion. CD2014, 2.2.4
Allow your life to unfold
We recognize in the legacy we have received as
fmm that Mary of the Passion, having embraced the
gift of God in her life, became A credible
witness to the compassion and joy of the Gospel.
This affirmation that Mary of the Passion was a
Credible witness to the Compassion and Joy of
the Gospel, invites us to remember
Among the studies prepared for the Beatification
of Mary of the Passion, we find the following
descriptions of her spirituality which underlie
the credibility of this witness of the Joy in the
life of Mary of the Passion
Throughout her life we are reminded that she was
appreciated as a someone who brought Joy into the
lives and experiences of others. It is how she
is remembered.
Mary of the Passion, from her early years was
an outstanding example of a Christian woman, ever
seeking Gods will, striving for communion and
responding to the needs of her time with an
inspiring influence
A woman of God and witness to God her
attention was centered on His presence, and on
His will and His love.
A prophetic person she had the capacity to
awaken people to see some of the realities, which
can be addressed with commitment. Solidly
grounded in her own commitment to Christ, she
never wavered through joy and pain.
She had a positive, wide influence and was in
many ways ahead of her time, with a depth of
spirituality that belongs to all times. Positio
some memories from the Poor Clares. In the
archives of the Poor Clare Monastery in
Marseilles there are two letters dated December
1860, written by a Poor Clare in Nantes to
those in Marseille. These letters describe
Helene as seen by her sisters when a postulant.
The Novice Mistress of the Poor Clares in
Nantes, Mother Marie du Sacre-Coeur, wrote to the
Abbess of the Monastery in Marseilles on December
19, 1860, announcing the arrival of the new
postulant, describing her as Serene, who could
not be happier finding herself in the house of
She wrote a second letter a few days later to
the Vicar of the same Monastery which gives a
more complete description of the postulant,
stressing her character traits spontaneous,
delightful, easy adaptation to a life of
austerity as though she had always lived with the
Poor Clares. Positio 116
In her Autobiography (1882), Mary of the Passion
recalls the deep happiness she experienced as she
entered the Poor Clares It was First Vespers
for the feast of Our Lady of Loreto. I said a
short prayer in the Chapel, then they opened the
door to me. I can still see the cross which the
Sisters presented to me on the threshold of the
I can see those beloved Mothers. I can still
hear the words of Mother Abbess Holy
Perseverance! And remembering it, my heart
breaks to think I was deprived of this happiness.
That was truly my place, with the Poor Clares.
There I should have died a saint, and a happy
saint! Everything delighted me, everything
surpassed my expectations. I did everything to
please God. My soul sometimes flew upwards when
I watched the birds, and thought that I was now
the daughter of the Seraphic Father who had
called them his Brothers. 1882 Autobiography
Today, the tradition of joy continues in Nantes
Celebration in Nantes of 800 Years of Poor
Clares 2010
Poor Clares Nantes
Love is the most universal, the most tremendous
and the most mystical of cosmic forces. Love is
the primal and universal psychic energy. Love is
a sacred reserve of energy it is like the blood
of spiritual evolution. Teilhard de Chardin, sj
Spirit of the Earth.
Compassion is born of Love
From the time when I was very young I had known
tht I had been gifted with a very rare power to
love and that to love was happiness. August
28, 1882
Reflecting upon Mary of the Passion through her
writings, we can recognize in what she
describes as significant moments, the
foundation for her growth in compassion.
There are many instances showing how she grew
into a stance of compassion in relation to
others. Here are some examples from her writings
about some moments in her childhood, that we can
associate with a beginning formation to deep
compassion in her later life
One day it occurred to me (when I was around
five), that pain might possibly be just an idea,
and that by willing it away one could cease to
feel it. I would have to study this question in
secret! So one day I lay down on an old bed in
an unoccupied room, placed my hand on the wood of
the bed, and asked one
of my cousins, three or four years older than
myself, to trample on it. She was wearing heavy
shoes, since we were in the country, and my hand
was quite badly crushed. I tried not to cry and
to believe that it didn't hurt. However, in
spite of my courage and all my efforts, I was
forced to admit that pain does exist.
Autobiography, 1882, p.9
I have always hated the dark. I like to close
my eyes but to know that there is light around
me. However, my mother would not put up with
such weakness, and it was decided that every time
Lena (my pet name), did without a light in the
evening, she would get a voucher for a loaf of
bread to give to the poor. Sometimes I could not
bear it, and called out to my nurse, Bring me the
light, just for once!
She would come in with it, saying that the poor
were cold and hungry, and I would answer, Take it
away then! I was trembling in my bed, but still,
I loved to make my sacrifice. And how happy I
was to carry these vouchers to the poor myself.
For I knew that then I was truly giving. It is
a very happy memory. Autobiography.
1882, p.9
Helene experienced profound suffering when her
Sisters died, and especially when her Mother died
after a sudden stroke. Some excerpts give us
insights into her struggle and pain when her
Mother died
A short time before Helene had spoken to her
Mother about entering religious life and her
Mother was deeply upset.and later Helene
overheard her weeping. This also disturbed
Helene greatly. Then she recounts that After
lunch Maman and I were both working in the
drawing room. She left me on some small errand.
It was the 11th of January, 1859.  
A few moments later the door opened and a servant
cried out, quite distracted, Mademoiselle, your
mother is dead! No she was not dead, but she
had suffered a stroke on the staircase. My
darling Mother! I had no doubt that it was I
who had killed her. She had been unable to
resign herself to the separation which was due to
take place in two or three days.  
Kneeling, overcome by a grief beyond words, I
cried out to God, No, no! I cannot accept such
a memory.
No one ever told me that grief felt so like
Fear. CS Lewis
No, my God, my Beloved, that my vocation should
bring about my mothers death, that is too
Her Mother continued in coma until Sunday,
which was the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus.
Fr. Marquet, sj celebrated Mass in the house. In
the chapel I said again to Jesus, Dear Master,
you have said that anything we ask in your divine
name He can never refuse. My mother, my mother!
I cannot lose my mother in such a cruel way.
I returned to her room, and Fr. Marquet, no
doubt guessing that I was fighting God for my
mothers life, said to me What are you doing,
Hélène? Dont resist anymore! And that
evening, instead of leaving my crucifix on her
bed I took it away with me, saying to him, Take
her She died at 3 oclock the next morning.
Some years later, on the anniversary of her
Mothers death, January 18, 1859, Mary of the
Passion wrote For seven years I was unable
to speak to anyone about this cruel wound My
Mother! The thought of seeing me give myself to
God had killed her. In addition to this crushing
cross, I found myself burdened with a
responsibility quite opposed to my liking.
My Father had fallen into a state of deep
depression. Nothing had been foreseen or
planned by my Mother. Death had come, terrible
as a lightening rod.Letters, business, work,
everything was left in my hands Every detail was
a blow to my poor heart. It was a long goodbye,
or so I feared, to my religious vocation, the
object of my keenest desires.
Two years later, in 1864, with the guidance of
Father Petit, sj, Helene applied to enter the
Society of Marie Reparatrice. She speaks briefly
of her farewell to her family
I did not shed a single tear, but leaning over
my little nephews cradle, I felt all the sorrow
of saying goodbye to my beloved Brittany, to all
my family whom I loved so much. Every tie was
being broken and forever. The baby lying there
would grow up a stranger to me.
This cross in my heart was as nothing compared
to that in my soul. To leave my father had
seemed to me for the last twenty-four hours to be
a mortal sin of egoism. He came to me the day
before my departure, in the evening and said
only, Daughter, there is still time! The
temptation was terrible! Autobiography, 1882, p,
I prayed, I will not change in the darkest hour
the decision I took in the full light, and which
came to me from obedience. My poor father came
with me to the station. I shall never forget his
face at that moment, expressing such agonizing
grief. How much one must love God to be able to
cause such pain to ones dear ones!
The train left and my last sight of my father in
this life was his poor face, sadder than I had
ever seen it.
In Paris, Hélène was admitted as a Postulant she
was sent at once to the novitiate in Toulouse.
Before she left, Mother Mary of Jesus, the
Superior General, gave her the name Mary of the
Blessed Mary of Jesus Foundress Society of Marie
She later recalled this day in her Autobiography
The thought of my Poor Clares still broke my
heart. I thought of nothing during those days,
except to love Our Lord ardently. I would do all
for him.
While still a novice, Mary of the Passion was
sent to India and soon appointed Provincial of
the Sisters in Madurai.
In India she discovered the poor, the suffering
of people. She found herself facing the
challenges of integrating her response to the
devastation experienced by the poor with a deep
personal desire to give herself unconditionally
to God.
Her compassion led her to profound depths of
commitment together with her Sisters, which
eventually resulted in separation from their
religious community.
In a time of unbelievable darkness Mary of the
Passion realized the birth of a missionary
calling. Her Sisters joined her in Ootacamund
in June 1876. In November Mary of the Passion and
two others left for Rome, at the insistence of
Msgr. Bardou, Bishop of Coimbatore.
The Missionaries of Mary began in Ootacamund,
India and were approved by Pope Pius IX, January
6, 1877.
Some of First FMM Mary of the Passion
center top.
Following from each ones personal encounter is
the ongoing birth and development of that same
charism in each of us all over the world.

Each of us, regardless of youth or age, are being
invited in this time of Kairos to see with new
eyes and to explore what it means to be a
Credible Witness to the Compassion and Joy of the
Table Contribution - A What is your image
of Mary of the Passion as a Credible Witness to
the Compassion and Joy of the Gospel? In
two-three WORDS share that image at your Table
Recorders Please note down IMAGES
Table Contribution- B What is your image
of how you are a Credible Witness to the
Compassion and Joy of the Gospel? In two-three
WORDS share that image at your Table Recorders
Please note down IMAGES
Table Contribution - c What is your image
of another FMM as a Credible Witness to the
Compassion and Joy of the Gospel? In two-three
WORDS share that image at your Table Recorders
please note down IMAGE
Sharing from Recorders and a time of