On the second day, we gathered to explore our deep experience of God. Our facilitator, Sister Nancy Sylvester, IHM, encouraged us to listen with open and spacious hearts to our six sisters sharing how their "culture, ethnicity, and race shaped and influenced their understanding and experience of God and in what ways their experience of God has evolved over the years." Six panelists spoke with heart-warming simplicity and soul-inspiring clarity about their early childhood experience and their ongoing spiritual journey through the years.

After each panelist's reflection, there were two moments. The first was a burst of appreciative applause and the second was song. Sister Patty Chappell led us in singing "You are all we have...." It was clear from her gestures that the YOU included God and each other.

During the entire afternoon we continued to share our own stories of how our culture, race and ethnicity shaped our understanding of God and how that understanding has evolved. Finally, in the last session, we talked about how what we heard and shared during the day will impact the present and future of the Sisters of Notre Dame and Associates.

On the next day we gathered in the meeting room to begin the day with prayer. It was a deeply moving prayer service which flowed from the speakers and the reflections of the previous day. It acknowledged the divisions and violence in society that divide us. The hymns, readings, images and prayers moved our spirits to seek peace and justice.

There were two major sessions in the morning. The first was the Ministry of Invitation and the Second was Critical Social Analysis.

We viewed a Power Point presentation of many statements by sisters sharing what they liked about being a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur. We also heard from four newer members about what attracted them to Notre Dame. Sisters Nancy Uhl, Viven Echekwubelu and Barbara Gutierrez, who are attending the Final Vow Program in Namur, Belgium communicated with us by video and Gillian Wallace, our new Affiliate, spoke in person.

The Critical Social Analysis Group developed and shared a simple four- step process for engaging in critical social analysis. Two women from Network updated us on Network, the state of comprehensive immigration reform, the Nuns on the Bus tour and the most effective ways to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship.

On Sunday morning, we gathered for our closing liturgy. The Gospel of the Good Samaritan was a fitting reading for the day and touched upon so much of what had been shared during this gathering.

At the conclusion of the liturgy, Sister Teresita Weind, our Congregational Leader spoke with heart and conviction and fueled our ignited hearts to stand firm and continue on leading to a world of justice, peace and joy.

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