On our journey on the third probation, we let ourselves to be transformed by what we know about each other. These last few days have been dedicated to getting to know our cultural roots. Each day we traveled to a different country and, hand in hand with each sister, we got to know its traditions, colors, people, richness, joys and sorrows…

From Vietnam come ancestral traditions, the New Year festival, a language full of new sounds for many and, above all, the faith that is strengthened in the hope of a new path for the Church.

From Colombia, the smell of coffee invites us to enter the houses full of color and welcoming, to listen to the music that speaks of a country that trusts in God and that, amidst joy and pain, continues to work for Peace and Reconciliation. In Peru, we go through the coast, the highlands and the jungle, where we are surprised by their flavors and their dances, and we join in their desire to build communion in diversity.

In India we are attracted by the colors and smells that also speak to us of diversity, not only cultural but also religious. And we join in their struggle for the dignity of the most vulnerable, especially women and girls.  To Timor we take our hearts to open them to the traditions of this land, full of sea and mountains, full of history and community, full of struggle and search for peace.

Finally, we return to Europe where we sit on the shore, in Portugal, to sing with “saudade” our desires and to throw ourselves into the horizon that the sea opens to us. And we finish in Spain, the land of our foundresses, allowing ourselves to be embraced by the closeness and affection that remind us that we are all brothers and sisters. 

In the afternoon, in groups or in assembly, we sat down to dialogue on the basis of the guide to interculturality proposed to us by GC XXI, allowing the echoes of what we heard in each country to resound. In this sharing, we recognise each other in what unites us and what makes us unique. Moreover, we are discovering how God is truly incarnated in the world, taking on such diverse faces.

At the end of the day, we pray together for the reality of each place, we become more and more sisters to each other, looking at the world from His Heart. At the end of this journey we can exclaim with Saint Raphaela: “How many children God has! Seeing the world stirs up zeal!”

And so that this journey does not remain a touristic tour, we want the new culture that is born from this sharing to be for us “a school of universal love for the world”. A school where we learn every day, in dialogue and in living together. A school for courageous people who take risks on this path of interculturality, knowing that those who do it in the style of Jesus are happy and blessed. A school where everyone is invited to discover and live the Beatitudes of interculturality:

Blessed are those who listen, from the heart, to the words and silences.

Blessed those who do not take for granted and know how to ask questions when they do not understand.

Blessed those who do not remain in the vision of their own culture and open up to others.

Blessed those who recognise their riches and share them without limits.

Blessed those who are willing to learn and build a new culture.

Blessed those who have free time for dialogue.

Blessed those who are committed to communication as a path to mutual growth.

Blessed those who recognise that they are sisters and who live each day in trust.

Blessed are those who make forgiveness a way of identification with Jesus.

Blessed those who live all this as a process of continuous conversion, in the key of discernment.

Blessed are those who, in any condition and at any cost, seek to live in the way of Jesus, as Saint Raphaela did.

“And one is blessed not only because she lives thanks to God and for God, but because she will live and will make her brothers and sisters live with God forever” (Madeleine Delbrêl).

Leonor Franco, aci