The prior commission is an official commission, prior to the General Congregation, which finalizes the preparation of the same, through an in-depth study of the postulates (RCG 13). For that reason their work is deemed to be part of the General Congregation and so this brief summary constitutes the very first communication about General Congregation XXI

On December 27th, 2021 we were delighted to welcome to the Curia the 7 Sisters who make up the Prior Commission, and who arrived without difficulty from different countries and continents. Francia Opiana from the Philippines, Bindu Michael from India, Margarita Rivera from España, Eduarda Barata from Portugal, Clarita Molina from Ecuador, Eileen FitzGerald from Bolivia and Sandra Pinto from Chile.

They began their work on the 28th, after a time of prayer and a meeting with the General Team. The rythym of their work has been intense and in a very open, joyful and sisterly atmosphere.

They share:

“For us, seven Sisters from seven countries and three continents, the possibility of being part of the Prior Commission of GC XXI has been an opportunity to learn, enrich ourselves and experience a greater openness to the universality of the Institute.

The trust placed by the General Team in us and in our work, together with their simplicity and flexibility, has been an experience that has strongly marked us in the field of the synodal journey.

Collaboration, sharing, mutual help, the way we accept and approach each other and the possibility of each having the space to express herself freely, have shown us that fraternity is a reality that can be lived and built together to make our communities signs of active hope for the world”

We celebrated the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 with them and also the Sisters in the Italian Infirmary and the Torricella community. We prayed together, thanking Our Lord for “all the many graces received” in 2021 and we asked Him for his light and for his companionship, which give us strength and hope. We sang carols and songs, shared gifts and even enjoyed a spontaneous performance.

This total commitment to work, which included a few hours on both December 25th and January 1st, did allow for a day trip to Toricella to enjoy both the natural beauty and the community welcome. The community of the Italian Provincial curia invited them to see the house in Lunghezzina and to have a meal with them, to which they also invited Caro and the Assistants General. It was a very fraternal sharing which gave us great joy and also tightened the bonds that bind us together as sisters.

On January 24th we will all leave together or Madrid. Talking and sharing with them has proved a very pleasant experience for the community in the Curia, hearing about their communities and their countries, learning about the challenges that they have faced and are facing in the midst of the present pandemic. We give thanks to God for their commitment as Handmaids, their simplicity and closeness, their love for the Institute and, of course, for the important work that they are doing so that the General Congregation will be able to “To Contemplate the Heart of Christ with active hope”.

For all this, both the Curia community and the Prior Commission feel grateful to God and to the Institute!