Our founders today
1.) Theodosius Florentini and Bernarda Heimgartner: Sowers of Hope
When Theodosius Florentini and Bernarda Heimgartner recognized the will of God in the needs of the time, it was the Dawn of Hope for central Switzerland. They courageously initiated a new form of religious life and a new life style among and with the people. Later this Hope was carried to the four continents.
2.) Theodosius Florentini and Bernarda Heimgartner
Sowers of Hope: A Story of 170 years!
Think of our foremothers who went in 1883 to Mthatha, 1901 to Rio Bueno, and in 1906 to Trivandrum. They went as sowers of Hope.
The winds of Hope was blown into Germany, Italy, England, Spain; Argentina, Peru; Lesotho, Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Cape, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq.
The wind continues to blow.
Time brings changes, new challenges, and insights
What had been so firm and sure, gave way to questions.
Get closer to the story:
Some could see and point the way beyond the tasks of classroom, sickroom, children’s home, parish.
Hold on to the old? .........or.......... Reach out for the new?
Now face-book and e-mailing bring concerns to hand –
Climate change, migrants, civil war (and) refugees, women’s issues
A hunger for broad horizons is in many.
If so, what holds me back from exploring deep, to conceive new possibilities, perceive wholeness in brokenness and design in the chaos?
How best to use this one life?
Hope begets hope!
Word of God calls for creativity and newness in life.
Seek out new connections and hold the tension of compassion, mercy, patience, forgiveness.
When time knocks at our door, we should not miss it.
What lures me to commit my hope each day?
3.) Theodosius Florentini and Bernarda Heimgartner
In this fast changing scenario of religious life, the discernment process takes the congregations back to their founders to gain deeper insight for the present. We also open ourselves: What would it be/what is it that Fr Theodosius and Mother Bernarda are telling us today?
The historic words of Theodosius Florentini “the need of the time is the will of God” is well quoted. But the challenge before us today is to interpret the need of the time. Do we still hear the voices from the margins as Father Theodosius and Mother Bernarda heard them? With great conviction and ardent desire Fr. Theodosius wrote “I will send my sisters there, where they are most badly needed and most ardently expected—namely, to the poor, to those hungry for education, to the sick, the orphans, the neglected, the factory-children and the industrial workers.
There they will live in such a way that they become witnesses of Christ‘s presence among the people.
They will show how vital and effective Christian charity can be.
They will share the poverty and need of the poor and become all things to all.“ Today’s God-given leaders like Pope Francis exhort us with the same sentiments of our Founders. Do we recognize it? Were we not in line with Fr Theodosius and Mother Bernarda when we declared at the CoC “Go forth to heal the broken world”? What is the face of the broken world today in my context? Have we taken notice of it? Or do we want to? It takes courage!
Our Founders challenge us today to be change makers in our time. Every sister, every Provincial Leader, every Provincial Leadership Team is called upon to make a new path. A path is made by walking; a new path is made when someone dares to walk. Are we short of imagination, creativity, insight and openness to the Spirit and the world? Are we blind and deaf to the changing context in which we live?
I hear the WAKE UP call. Don’t you?