Spotlight on Associates

Finding the common thread: reflections of Summer Assembly – “Sowing Seeds of Hope”
By Barbara Bacci Yugovich, IHM Associate

I invited a group of associates and sisters who attended the Summer Assembly to come together early Saturday morning before the Jubilee celebration to share their reflections of these days.

Some of those who attended the assembly for the very first time shared that it was … “welcoming, organized, well-attended – surprised at the size;” one initially thought, “What am I getting myself into?” and someone else said, “I felt the presence of the Spirit.” For another, the assembly “was an opportunity to meet so many sisters, make new friends.”

Together, we took some time to silently reflect on a quote by Thomas J. Eggleston: “To see the world through the lens of encounter is to realize the presence of God all around us and that we are connected to each other through ties both visible and invisible.”

I asked what visible and invisible connections we had made that week. Thoughts were

  • I had some judgements, but the level of trust allowed for me to remain open.”
  • “I didn’t feel alone even in the midst of the silence; I sensed the importance of the reflection time.”
  • “The visible awareness was in how present people were to one another whether we were sharing at a table or having conversations during a break; the invisible sign was how a spirit of love permeated the room.”
  • And “I made a number of new friends, and I was grateful to renew old ones!”

On the experience of sharing about our family of origin:

  • “So powerful! We had a very diverse group at our table, but what stood out for me was how much the values we were raised with turned out to be similar. We felt so connected.”
  • “I enjoyed listening as well as sharing my story. In our sharing we found a lot of similarities among us.”
  • “I saw the differences as particular strengths each sister shared about how they served others during their vowed lives. Although their experiences varied, their commitment to the IHM mission was the same.”

 How did the sharing of those around our tables help us to understand the reality of differences? 

  • “We all must live out our call in the way we feel the Spirit leading us; we are enriched by one another because of our differences.”
  • “By discovering the differences, we found the common thread. Although we had to work at it, there was a willingness to accept the diversity.”
  • “We are enriched by one another because of our differences.”

 Thank you to all who shared, revealing the common thread of our days together during Summer Assembly.