Our Companionship in Franciscan Solidarity(CFS) is an initiative and a relationship that enables us to celebrate our global sisterhood, and share our stories and Franciscan heritage. It enables us to journey in solidarity, mutually embrace our vulnerability and empower one another through zoom and onsite encounters. It also challenges us to continue building networks of relationships. Our CFS is as beneficial as it is enriching and life-giving. In an interview with the congregational leaders of the three congregations that constitute the membership of this Companionship on May 6, 2022, they shared their experience of journeying together in Franciscan Solidarity.
From left to right: Sr. Eileen, Sr. Theodosia, Sr. Diana
Sr. Diana De Bruin, Franciscan Sisters of Assisi
Our congregation is blessed to be a part of the Companions in Franciscan Solidarity. It has given us a global sisterhood where we “walk together” in mutuality and care; giving and receiving the gift of each other. We now are in partnership working together for the betterment of us all and the people we serve.
Sr. Theodosia Baki, Tertiary Sisters of Saint Francis
This Companionship is taking place at a time when the church is preparing for the synod on synodality scheduled for October 2023. What grace and blessing to be walking with one another in this relationship. We are on a synodal journey by sharing our congregational stories and listening assertively to one another. On this journey, we acknowledge that we are all vulnerable in one way and need to be supported and empowered to be effective in our mission. Personally, l have been enriched by the sharing and conversations among our congregational leaders… l hope that we may discover new paths where the Spirit is leading us.
Sister Eileen McKenzie, Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration
For almost 30 years the Tertiary Sisters of St. Francis, Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, and Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration have been responding to a deep call to grow in cultivating a Franciscan global sisterhood. What began in Assisi between an African and American sister listening deeply to each other in discernment became the ” Franciscan Common Venture”, which evolved into the “Companions in Franciscan Solidarity”, whose mission is to foster intercultural friendship and collaborate across borders with compassionate responses to the needs of the time.
A relationship based on Franciscan spirituality, nurturing unity in diversity and walking in solidarity with each other and the world...isn’t this the call of the Church? Isn’t this part of our synodal journey? Listening, discerning, creating space for encountering different cultures and ideas? Prayerfully supporting each other, working in mutuality, in service to the suffering Earth community? Let us continue to walk together now, into the future, offering the love of Christ and Franciscan joy to the world!
Generally, our companionship allows us to celebrate our global sisterhood, foster a culture of encounter and challenge us to embrace our vulnerability and build networks of relationships. It enriches and empowers us for mission effectiveness.
Sr. Marceline Yenmuleh, TSSF
From right to left: Sr. Marceline, Sr. Lucia, Sr. Laura, Sr. Pia