A marvellous call

Life currently feels made up of milestones...

Twenty years ago we gathered in Rome - Agnes, Ale, Annie, Becky, Lourdes, Margaret, Martine, Quena, Seiko, Sheila, Sue and me. Twelve women from eleven countries and every continent; twelve vey different women, united in a common vocation as RSCJ, and due to become even more united as a probation community. We had begun gathering in the previous days, some meeting for the first time, others already known to each other, our lives already interwoven, even before embarking on these intense months of preparation for our perpetual vows.

And now we gathered, smartly dressed and expectant, for a ceremony almost as old as the Society: the official opening of our probation; an opening into an especially graced and special time in the life of an RSCJ. It begins with a conference by our Superior General, to orient us and suggest an attitude or focus for the group. In our case she suggested four attitudes; four ways of disposing our hearts to receive all that would come, to share our gifts, and build together an international, intercultural community. Four very memorable ways for women of Jesus' Heart: to open our hearts; to listen TO our hearts; to listen WITH our hearts, and then, flowing from the other attitudes, to give with all our hearts. 

That much I remember, twenty years on; but the other day I found that opening conference and read it again, gently recalling long-forgotten words of inspiration. Although they were given for a specific time and context they are, really, ageless and universal, and thus I have stayed with these words in particular: 

We need to take time to reflect on what a marvellous call we have received: to be women who desire to give their lives to repairing the broken, healing the wounded, reconciling the alienated, nourishing every tiny sign of life, crying out for justice, building peace...

Twenty years on it is still a marvellous call, and one that is even more essential, in the darkness and despair of these times. Now, more than ever, our bruised and hurting world needs women prepared to repair and heal, to nourish, reconcile and work for justice and peace... Now, more than ever, we need to be those women. And so now in 2023, as in 2003, I pray for myself and for the rest of my group, that we may continue to respond to this grace of vocation, giving our lives in love, with open, listening and freely giving hearts, for our blessed and broken world... 


  1. Beautiful and true. So heart warming. Feeling nostalgic recollecting our days together in 2003 at villa lante.

  2. So well narrated the enriching experience of probation. Thanks Silvana


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