This was the first time the seven of us had all been together. Some of us know each other well, but as there are essentially two main formation groups, we had never before mixed and mingled or even shared our stories. We come from very diverse backgrounds and experiences, but the common threads were astonishing and deeply moving.
We say in community that something special happens when we come together in person, and this experience was yet another embodiment of that reality. It was also an emodiment of hope. The energy was palpable in the room. Our charism of peace through justice was alive. And on more than one occasion, I felt the presence of Margaret Anna Cusack (known in religion as Mother Francis Clare, our founder).
Our reality is that we are separated on a regular basis by many thousands of miles. But we have a deep connection now to each other that I know will continue to grow and bear much fruit. I'm also aware that as we welcome those who are "yet to come" to our circle, we will be even more enriched, challenged, and inspired.
As we say in our Constitutions .... we face the future with gratitude and hope!