Companionship at Work

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Being an apostolic Society, we need to find creative ways to experience community even at a distance. Last week I traveled from North Carolina to Alabama to work with Sr. Madeleine on planning an upcoming program that will take place in North Carolina. Since our lives have “intersected” in many ways over the years, Madeleine and I can recognize when we “get into the rhythm” of working together, sparking each other’s creativity and having moments of fun in between accomplishing some hard work. While here in Alabama, I meet ministry contacts of the FCJs and get a better idea of the daily life of the sisters here. Thus it is that the web of connection is woven in very practical, everyday ways. The ideal is expressed as “union of minds and hearts”. The reality happens at times such as this one week in Alabama.

2 Responses to “Companionship at Work”

  1. Madeleine, fcJ Says:

    It was a joy for the FCJ community in Alabama to have Sr. Joanna visit us. Unlike some FCJ communities, we are not located “on the way” to anywhere…. Anyone who comes to visit us is taking a trip with the destination of Tuscaloosa! So we get rather few FCJ visitors, unlike communities closer to other FCJ communities or located in or near big cities where Sisters or Companions in mission may be travelling on business. Each visitor is very much appreciated for what she brings to our companionship at table, or at prayer, or in the different kinds of encounters we have.

    It is also a special joy when FCJ Sisters collaborate on a project or ministry together. I love working with Sr. Joanna because, in addition to being a fun companion, she has such knowledge and wisdom about spirituality. I always end up feeling enriched by the experience. Over the years, we have planned and co-directed retreats and meetings and it’s been very formational for me to listen to her ideas. Every once in a while, we get talking about some topic deep in our hearts, like how we are experiencing some particular insight or responding to some invitation from the Society of Sisters, Faithful Companions of Jesus. These discussions are an education for me and leave me feeling so grateful for the gift FCJ life is to me!

    Because we are sent on mission, FCJ Sisters accept the ways that particular locations play out in our lives. For us in Tuscaloosa, it means accepting that we don’t have much face-to-face contact with other Sisters very often. For me, that’s why reading and responding to the FCJ Blog is really important, as is the contact I have with FCJ Sisters on Facebook. I feel really blessed to live in this age when distance is no barrier to connection!!!!!

  2. mcsfcj Says:

    Thank you, Madeleine and Joanna for your blog and comment.

    I am just back from Birkenhead where I was at a meeting about Catholic schools. I stayed overnight at the FCJ community at Heathbank. It was a joy simply spending time with the sisters, learning what they are doing and how they are. Reading your comment makes me realise how much I take this sort of opportunty for granted, Madeleine. Here in England it is much easier to call in on an FCJ community en route to somewhere else and I must say I enjoy it.

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