Friday, February 22, 2008

Incarnate Word Formation Symposium 2008

I have been away for quite a long time. I had been busy preparing for our annual formation symposium. This is a gathering of all the Sisters in formation in our order.

This year the symposium was held in Mexico City. Some of you may have read a post from August of last year where I speak of spending a whole month in Mexico City studying at the Center for Incarnation Spirituality in conjunction with the Pontifical University of Mexico City. So, this year the symposium was held at the same place, the Retreat House of our Incarnate Word Sisters of the Tlalpan Generalate.

The Symposium opened February 15, 2008 with Vespers.

If there is something our Sisters are known for that is being great teachers and great singers. The music for liturgies was awesome! I had such a warm feeling being in chapel, praising God with some many other Sisters. I can not do a good job of describing the experience.

We arrived in Mexico City on Thursday to have some time before the opening. I have a cousin who lives in the city but unfortunately I wasn't able to see her that morning due to her work schedule. However, the Sisters took us for a tour of the City in one of these "turibuses". We all went to the second floor to be able to get some sun and feel the cool breeze and watch everything. The buses provided each person with these cool earphones which we connected to the back of the seat in front of us to hear a narration of the places where we went by. The city is so large that I believe the bus takes eight hours to show you the whole city. We only rode for about three hours and then had lunch and headed back to the house for the opening.

One of the places we visited was downtown Mexico City. I love the old buildings with their baroque beauty (they might be older than that, though.) Right next to the Metropolitan Cathedral there are the ruins of the ancient "Templo Mayor." In that place, last year, sometime in August a group pf Mexican archaeologists detected the presence of a sort of funeral chamber that could contain the mortal remains of Emperor Ahuitozl, who governed the Aztecs when Christopher Columbus came to the New Word. If they can prove that then it would be the first tomb of an Aztec governor ever found. Anyway, I find these things very interesting.

While at the Zocalo, I saw this organ grinder
(is that what they're called?) I saw some others in the city
dressed just like her. I snapped the picture before thinking of asking her, and then her assistant came immediately to ask for the "picture fee." That was cute. I gave her a good tip.

On Saturday we started with the recitation/ chanting/ singing of Lauds. Then we had breakfast and then moved into the morning work. We had a wonderful conference by Fr. Alex Zatyrka on being Mystics. Then after some process we had Mass, lunch and then the afternoon session was on being Prophets. That evening we presented our theme. Each congregation had to prepare either a PowerPoint, talk or some other creative way to speak of how we are Mystics and Prophets: Disciples of the Incarnate Word in our congregations. We chose to prepare a PowerPoint. I had been taking pictures of the hands of my Sisters for a couple of years. This was the time to use those pictures! So, using only pictures of their hands I showed how we live our call to Discipleship in Corpus Christi. If I find out how to put it here I will. Does anybody know? I know I can put post videos, but, how do I make a video out of a PowerPoint? Any help is appreciated?
On Sunday we were divided by stages. I went with the other novices to pray and reflect on our call to Discipleship. At the end of the time given, we came all went back to the conference room and spoke of our understanding, our hopes and dreams for our life as Incarnate Word Sisters. It was very inspirational. I must add that those of us who were bilingual helped with the translation. At some point I started talking a thousand miles a minute to this Sister who kept on staring at time with her bright blue yes. It happened to be one of our American Sisters and she did not know ANY Spanish. But at that point my cables were more than crossed.

After that we had some pictures taken. I took a picture of the picture takers (here they are pretending to be models, aren't they cute?) Then we closed with a Mass at the Basilica of Guadalupe. The frunny thing is that they have this little chapels on the second floor looking into the main Altar but they are not divided by walls (sort of like a VIP box at the theater.) So, when we were having Mass we were looking into a different Mass. It was hard to concentrate but it was beautiful.
I think we all came back energized, full of life and hopes for our future as Sisters of the Incarnate Word. What a beautiful experience that was.
On a side note I want to ask for prayers as I prepare to ask for First Vows in this congregation. That God may allow me to fall more and more in love with Him and as our Sister of Cleveland say, may I become a Gospel of Love.

Praised be the Incarnate Word!


oblatofranciscano said...

helga ,
que buena onda que estabas en el DF..i have a question i know that some of the mexican sisters (congregations) have contemplative houses (not cloisters) but houses whose mission is prayer...i went to one in puebla (about 5 years ago) and made a little visit ...can you shead some light on this ..i mean do you of this custom..i have heard of the concept of contemplatives with apostolic congregations and i know you have a very contempltive spirit ....but anyways i will be praying for you and i entrust myslef to your times it seems a liitle overwhelming to begin to think of the what one is about to do....pleasepray for me too!!!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! Hope you had a wonderful time!

Chema said...

Hermana Helga,
he encontrado su blog por casualidad y lo encuentro fantástico, lleno de alegría y de ánimos para seguir a Dios.
Por favor, téngame en sus oraciones.

Helga said...

Hi Oblato! I really don't know if we do. I supposse we do, Especialmente donnde las hermanas estan ya jubiladas y se dedican a la oracion. A donde fuiste en Puebla, que parte?

Thanks Sr. Betsy. Glad to "see" you!

Hola Chema, de donde eres? Por supuesto que te tendre en mis oraciones. Sigue isitando. Tengo que "colgar" mas cosas en castellano.

Lisa said...

God's Word has been fulfilled: Jesus is Risen as He said.

May God grant you a grace-filled and happy Easter!

sr betsy said...

Happy Easter!!!