Congregational Leadership Team Handover
Sr Dorina's Speech
Menzingen, December 13, 2019
Good morning! Welcome to all our visitors, our celebrant priests, and all present. Good morning dear sisters and the staff of the houses of Maria von Berg and St. Franziskus, who are listening to us on the radio.
On behalf of the entire Congregation, I thank Sister Telma, the outgoing Congregational Leader and her councillors, Sister Franziska, Sister Immaculate, Sister Immaculata, Sister Gloria and Sister Ursula, for having guided the lives and mission of all the sisters, over the past six years, with great enthusiasm. I thank you from my heart.
It is a gift of grace that the new Congregational Leadership Team (CLT) can experience this “brand new start” here with you in Menzingen, on a day that unites us more than any other, because it is Mother Bernarda’s anniversary of death and she is our Foundress!
The thought of Mother Bernarda has accompanied me during these months, while preparing for the new mission the Lord has given me. While thinking about Mother Bernarda and her life, a homily of a Salesian priest came back to my mind. In Arese, a small town in nothern Italy, there was once a juvenline prision where boys were imprisoned for the crimes that they had committed. Today it is a Salasian vocational training centre for adoloscents. A phrase was found on the wall of one of the cells. A boy who was in that cell had etched this phrase into the wall with his fingernails. He had probably spent a very long time there and these are the words that he left behind:
"Life has no purpose without Mom’s love”.
Let’s just imagine for one moment what must have been in that boy’s heart, probably cries of sorrow and cries of love: “ Life has no purpose without Mom’s love.” Let’s think about our own mothers for a moment…and the sisters who were our spiritual mothers with their comforting words and testimonies, as well as to the church, our Mother. It is with thanks to them that we have a reason for living!
In fact, if we are here today it is because we have been loved by our mothers! Also Mother Bernarda, by having said: “YES” to God, for a very specific purpose, was a mother to all of us! Even now that maternal ability she had to educate the youth and women in order to lead meaningful and dignified lives, is still a guiding force for us today, wherever we are.
Dear brothers and sisters, I think that actually being able to experience this “maternal feminine genius”, which God has endowed us with, will enable us to become a “transforming presence” in today’s society. This same transforming presence that truly loves Christ, who died and rose again, is the light and salt of our Mother Earth.
Today’s world, beginning with the new generations, absolutely needs this maternal presence to educate and help it better express the good that it already has within it, and that is a gift of God. The world needs this maternal presence where there is a lack of affection, abandonment, and the incapacity of being compassionate towards those who suffer.
I ask each and every one of you to be with us in prayer and remain close to us through a open and free dialogue. It is wonderful to walk down this path together and be united with our Mother Church. It is the Church, as Mother Bernarda said, that the Congregation belongs to.
“ “Life has no purpose without a mother's love