FCJ GENERAL CHAPTER 2

October 16, 2019 by

#FCJChapter2019#IThirst

Read what happened on the second day of our Chapter by clicking on the link below.

FCJ GENERAL CHAPTER 1

October 16, 2019 by

#FCJChapter2019 #IThirst

Our General Chapter is currently taking place in Calgary, Canada. To find out more click the link below.

TWO GROUPS FOR BIBLE SHARING…

October 4, 2019 by

Last week some of us took part in Bible sharing in two groups, one Catholic and the other Ecumenical. On Thursday evening we spent two hours reading and sharing on the Mass readings for the coming Sunday. (In fact, we have this group every week). The following evening we joined members from several Christian denominations in reflecting on creation using a passage from Genesis. We used the latter meeting to strengthen our resolve to be more proactive in taking care of the environment. We left both groups steeped in Scripture and strengthened in faith.

FCJ YOUNG COMPANIONS JOIN IN THE BICENTENARY CELEBRATIONS #FCJ200

September 15, 2019 by

On Sunday 15th September we welcomed eighteen young people to an ‘Open House’ in our community. The Open House was held in celebration of our 200th birthday. Our visitors were mainly members of our FCJ Young Companions Group ( SAMUDA: Sahabat Muda). The day was an opportunity for our Young Companions to get to know the FCJs better. After prayers and games there were sessions on Marie Madeleine D’Houet, our founder, and on FCJ Spirituality. The Open House was led by a team of FCJs and Companions in Mission. The input was given by Ibu Erlin, one of our Companions in Mission. Sessions were followed by sharing in small groups. It was so good to see what an inspiration Marie Madeleine was to the young people. We closed the meeting with prayer before enjoying a delicious lunch. It was a memorable day for all of us.

The future’s name is Hope

September 12, 2019 by

“To Christians, the future does have a name, and its name is Hope. Feeling hopeful does not mean to be optimistically naïve and ignore the tragedy humanity is facing. Hope is the virtue of a heart that doesn’t lock itself into darkness, that doesn’t dwell on the past, does not simply get by in the present, but is able to see a tomorrow.”

Pope Francis 2017

We are surrounded by goodness and beauty, by people striving for the good of others, by a million small gestures of kindness and love. Yet if we listen to the news channels we can easily feel somewhat overwhelmed as we hear story after story of suffering, self-seeking leadership, climate crisis… How then can we find hope and not be paralysed? Perhaps it is by recognising the truth of both – there is much that is suffering in our world, and yet still, in the face of it all people still choose goodness, still strive to do what is right, still forgive, console, love.

THE JOY OF HUMAN ENCOUNTER…

September 10, 2019 by

In my home parish in the North East of England we no longer have the luxury of daily Mass and so I need to take a bus to a church in a nearby village each morning. Day by day I have been touched by the friendliness of the people I have met. I have witnessed enough examples of care, courtesy and kindness to know that there is so much goodness in and between people. It has been a double blessing to attend Mass and to find God so present in daily life.

THE AMAZONS WE BURN…

September 6, 2019 by

It has been heartbreaking to see the devastation caused by the fires ravaging the Amazon. I have thought and prayed endlessly about it and I have done much soul searching too. There is a sense in which we are all ‘burning amazons’ in terms of the impact we have on the environment by the way we live. I am trying to be even more aware of the impact I have on nature due to the choices I make. It is time to stop ‘setting fires’ as a consequence of the way I live.

Fruitfulness

September 4, 2019 by

 

rowan-flowers-paul-sterry-NPL

Outside my window a tree full of berries is blowing in the wind. All summer, bees were feeding from the nectar of the flowers, and now, thanks to their efforts, birds are delighting in the rich fruit.

I am at my desk, working – collating information for our General Chapter and planning events for Young Adults. I find myself inspired by the summer bees, who, in gathering what they needed, provided a fruitful space for others. May each of us find meaning and purpose in what we do, and in doing it may we benefit others. berries

A Million Blessings

August 28, 2019 by

gratitude

The last few days have seen a mini heat wave in the UK (2 days!!) and today the showers are back. I love to watch the leaves dripping in the sunshine after the rain has passed. It makes me feel hopeful. 

Today I realise that the summer has brought a many blessings to me – of laughter, peace, rest and friendship. Space and freedom, joy and reflection….beauty, calm, gratitude… These blessings came quietly, without ceremony or planning: a bud opening on a rose bush, ripe tomatoes on the vine, rain and sunshine on my face, sharing deeply with friends.

Magnificat of Gratitude  – Ann Johnson (adapted)

Count them, my spirit, and be grateful.
Count the wonders one by one,
each drop of rain, each kiss,
each kindly word, each rose and garlic bud.

Observe them, my soul, and give thanks.
How many times have you been redeemed?
How many breezes blew clouds away?
How many seeds burst into life?

For all your universal wonders, we praise you.
For all your showering benefit, we thank you.
For all your daily miracles,
we murmur gratitude.
Generation after generation you continue blessing.

Blessed are you, Giving God,
Benefactor of heaven and earth in every age.
Your name is Generosity.
You convey wonder and miracle
day after day to the earth and its people.
To you we lift our hearts and voices
in this prayer of gratitude.

 

GATHERINGS OF PEOPLE

August 21, 2019 by

In recent weeks different members of our community have attended various gatherings of people. Four of us took part in the womens’ competitions to celebrate Indonesian Independence Day. We had great fun. To our huge surprise we won the cooking competition with our ‘Crispy Lotus Banana’. The ‘Tug of War’ was a different story, we came last, we were pulled across the line like a bag of feathers! On 11th August, a group of us celebrated the Feast of St Clare with our Basic Ecclesial Community. It was a delight to see the children and young people dancing and singing. Different groups of us attended Independence Day celebrations in our villages on 16th and 17th August, respectively. This was a wonderful celebration of interfaith neighbourliness. Our neighbours were delighted that we came to join in the prayer and celebration. On Sunday 18th August, five of us made the journey to East Java for the wedding of one of our former students. It was deeply touching to be present at a traditional village wedding. How lovely to be part of such a joy-filled ceremony.