International SND Formation Conference held in Rome, Italy
May 30, 2019
Twenty six Formation Directors of the Sisters of Notre Dame met at the motherhouse and generalate in Rome, Italy, from April 28 until May 25, 2019, for one month of input and sharing.
Directors of postulants, novices, and sisters with temporary profession ministering in 13 countries were called together by the general government. Throughout their one-month meeting, the sisters were offered presentations by the members of the general administration as well as other resource speakers and had the opportunity to share their own experience and expertise with one another.
In her opening address, Sister Mary Kristin Battles, Superior General, reminded the formation directors that their “role in our Congregation is one of the most important.” She said “You have in your hands the future of the Congregation… It is a privilege and a great responsibility to be a formator and the Congregation has placed great trust in you.” Speaking about the women in formation she stated: “We want our women to have the very best experience possible and we want to lead them on the path to holiness, to be good gospel witnesses and to live the charism and further the mission of the Congregation.”
The following are the titles of some topics addressed during the conference to assist the formators with their important task: Purpose of Formation; Ignatian Spirituality; SND History and Charism; ND Culture, Living out our Mission; Interculturality; Accompaniment; Prayer Styles; How to work in a Formation Team; our Philosophy of Resources, Important Parts of Canon Law; JPIC; the Use of Technology; Designing an Instruction Plan. In addition, mission witness talks, a pilgrimage to Assisi, the participation in a general audience with Pope Francis, and a visit to the rooms of St. Ignatius including a celebration of Mass with the group enriched the program.
The possibility to share their experiences with other sisters in the same ministry was a great value, and new contacts and mentoring partnerships were established between sisters who are very experienced and those who have been entrusted with the ministry of formation recently. The formation directors are returning to their provinces encouraged and with even more enthusiasm.