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BACAR Expands Dialogue on “Let the Call Be Heard” by Kathy Noether, Associate of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Co-director of BACAR Board
In the latest issue of The Associate, Conni Dubick reminded us of Joan Chittester’s inspirational words when she spoke at the 2002 NACAR Conference. Joan continued earlier this year at the Fourth International Oblate Congress expanding the theme for all Oblates throughout the world in an almost parallel address. Inspired by the reading of these two presentations, BACARused Joan Chittester’s address for our Quarterly Discussion Group on May 19, 2018 incorporating the same title and including a link to the Joan Chittester’s address: “Let the Call Be Heard”.
In October Mary Waskowiak, RSM, spoke about “Connections: Ever Ancient / Ever New / Always Calling” at the BACAR Conference. This seemed a perfect segway for the May Discussion Group. Planning the day, a smaller team formulated a plan inviting responses to Joan’s address. We knew there was a wealth of material to cover, so outlined the four questions with team members each taking a question for reflection and discussion.
Judy Borland facilitated the discussion beginning with an introduction and overview of the address. Carmella Huser began with the first question of “Why do you exist?” referring to our Call of love as defined by our commitment to one’s self and one another. She explained that unless we can spread love, the world will not knowlove. Marilee Hearn followed with the question “Where do you come from?” by rephrasing this message. We all have this call and indeed are meant to share this with one another through our charisms and gifts beginning with companionship and branching out to those we come in contact with in our daily lives. Kathy Noether expressed the next question of “Who are you?” with an activity of identifying one self by listing ten gifts that one sees as a personal reflection of who you are. After listing these gifts, we grouped them, defined the one characteristic that best mirrors our inner space, and then shared that with partners and then the larger group. Elizabeth Avalos delved into “What must you do?” which brought a rich discussion of actions that not only individuals could take, but also BACAR as a collective presence. This led to a seed for our next meeting to continue and formulate a plan of action.
The interchange was dynamic and brought more ways to interact across congregations and within individual communities. It was evident that the most important part of the address was the telling of stories, sharing who we are, and realizing we can be effective as a group that thinks and works together. We looked at these questions Joan challenged us to discover stating that “The truth is that (we) are in the process of discovering again in new and vibrant ways what it means to hold a charism in trust for the church” (Chittester). Her questions set the stage for us to take action through sharing and solutions.
The time spent in reflection and discussion was rich and reminded of us our deep commitment to the individual charisms embedded in each of our congregations. It is also true that this affirmation inspires each of us to continue the Call with renewed energy and focus, particularly as we share compassionate goals.
On Saturday, January 13, 2018 in the Adobe Wells Home Park Clubhouse in Sunnyvale, Associates and Vowed Members gathered to hear Marilyn Wilson, BVM share re reflections on “Women In the Church: Past, Present & Future” As an example of present day Women in the Church, Penny Donovan, Sinsinawa Associate, shared her spiritual journey and where it has led her. At the gathering, the BACAR Board acknowledged the 20 plus years of dedicated involvement of Dolores Nice, Mercy Associate who was one of the founding members of BACAR.
This is Part 1 of the video: Women in the Church:Past, Present & Future
Following are pictures of the event.
BACAR’s next discussion group will be at Notre Dame Belmont Provincial Center on March 24, 2018 from 9 AM to Noon. Contact Kathy Noether.
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