Sr. Jennifer Aileen Cortez, DW
Members of Congregation of the Daughters of Wisdom in Europe set out on a pilgrimage to Poland. There, they met with members of the other two Congregations founded by St. Louis-Marie of Montfort, Montfort Missionaries and St. Gabriel Brothers. The intercultural experience was beyond their expectations and propelled them to a world of diversity and communion.
The younger Sisters of Europe, gathered together to revitalise their lives by sharing community experiences, spiritual encounters, ideas or visions, and missions. We met in Poland for a pilgrimage July 16 to 21, 2017. Fr. Nikola, and Bro. Renato, representing the Montfort family, warmly welcomed us.
Diversity of cultures
The group felt an aura of affinity as they immersed in a diversity of cultures. Each person’s identity emerged and entwined in diverse manners to adapt to the country and to accept each other's differences. We appreciated each other’s tolerance and patiently understood one another when we spoke. We discovered within ourselves the essence of fraternity, the importance of listening with respect and openness. I became aware, that the theme of the next Chapter “Love without Borders” was emerging. We were already living it and integrating it. The group was composed of four nationalities (French, Italian, Filipino-Canadian, and Croatian) and 4-5 languages were spoken. Unconsciously, different forms of solidarity were expressed: helping each other in translation to understand one another, being open and respectful in manners and in thought.
A country founded in faith
We explored the cities of Czestochowa (Jasna Gora), Krakow, Oswiecim (Auschwitz-Birkenau) and Warsaw and discovered that Poland has a strong and concrete faith foundation. I came to appreciate, understand and connect immediately to our daily theme as we reflected on Mercy, Incarnation, the Cross and the Virgin Mary. Fr. Nikola, incorporated the themes in his homily as we started the day with the celebration of the Eucharist. He connected them to the place and to our spirituality drawing us in a reflective mood.
Totus Tuus in Poland
As revealed by history, Polish people suffered a lot and through past experiences, an important message of forgiveness, mercy, hope and love was proclaimed by their Saints (St. Faustina, St. Pope John Paul II, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Edith Stein etc.…). What inspiring models of vocation! What about Montfort? He invites us to respond to our baptismal call to holiness and to entrust our lives to Mary. As proud Montfortians we carried one important part of the heritage of our Founder, the devotion to the Virgin Mary. In fact, the Totus Tuus of John-Paul II is universal!
The pilgrimage concluded with sharing and a mass celebration in the Chapel of the Brothers. We thanked Wisdom for gathering us together as one family. We want to nurture our relationship as young Montfortians of Europe. This pilgrimage invited us all to diversity, interculturality, mercy and love without boundaries.
Please reread the articles concerning the meetings of the Group