Our Priority for Community

A central value in our life

The reports from Provincial Chapters and from the Provincials preparatory to the General Chapter show honest acknowledgements of the difficulties we have experienced in community. There is also a strong desire to build community. Convinced of the fact that from fragility new life emerges, we continue to search for ways to be sisters, to grow in accepting our vulnerabilities and giftedness and to assist one another to take life giving risks. Community is a place where we are called to continual personal and communal conversion. 

As RSCJ we are called to follow Jesus in community, in the manner of Sophie. Deeply rooted in our relationship with Jesus, we reaffirm that life in community is a fundamental expression of our spirituality. 

Community is a basic way of organizing ourselves, a space where we take decisions together for our lives and mission. Community on all levels is both mission and for mission.

Recognizing that we are part of the universe, of creation in all its abundance and of a fragmented humanity that yearns for new ways of relating, we are convinced that living in community models an alternative way of being together in this world. We strive to witness that love, hope, justice and peace are possible.

Conscious that the destruction of the environment will have the greatest impact on those who already suffer from poverty, hunger and the lack of water, we know that living in community and sharing our goods in common has the potential to reduce our consumption of the world's resources. In this context we reaffirm our commitment to live more simply. 

We desire communities that are open to all, sharing life and faith, dreams and struggles, our goods and resources. 

We are invited to weave threads of connectedness, drawing on the richness and challenge of interpersonal, cultural and ethnic diversities, in regions and provinces, and as an international Society. 

We sense the urgent invitation to revitalize:

  • the quality of our relations which are basic to community
  • how we create humanizing spaces for ourselves and others
  • how community can be a place of searching, of contemplation and discernment

Valuing the richness of the material on Apostolic Community in our Constitutions and other Chapter documents, we are encouraged to return to these primary documents in order to let them challenge us to live more radically. Within the realities of our provinces we need to continue to look courageously at: 

  • how the social context influences our attempts to live community
  • whether there is congruence between how we desire to live as expressed in our documents and our lived reality.

Our experience of the joy in living and celebrating together as sisters creates energy within us for building community among ourselves and others wherever we are.

(Adapted from General Chapter 2008 Documents, ©Society of the Sacred Heart)

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