This is a continuation of Sr. Karin Dufault’s presentation for their International Associate Gathering this past May on the four I’s (International, Intercultural, Intergenerational, and Interdependent). Today’s topic is Part Four: Interdependent.
” We recognize that God created us to be in a relationship. The Trinity, Father, Son, and Spirit, or said another way, Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier is the perfect example of interrelationships and interdependence. As humans, we are created as social beings in a religious community. We see ourselves as being interdependent, interdependent among ourselves as individual members, as members of local communities, as members of provinces as we are now structured, and interdependent among our provinces and our General Leadership Team and provinces. We need to resist thinking solely of ourselves as individuals or solely of our own local community or province. We are members of a larger whole–the Sisters of Providence and so we enlarge our sense of belonging and our sense of concern as well as what we consider in our processes of discernment. the common good of our sisters, our ministries, and our colleagues influences our decisions and choices as community members. This means we pay attention t our actions that may reflect a sense of independence from others as well as what may reflect an unhealthy dependence. What contributes to the common good within our community and in our society is of central importance to us. Twenty-first century science and theology have come together to reveal the mystery of God’s creative love and our interrelationship, oneness, and interdependence not only with other human beings but with the wonder and awe of all creation and the whole cosmos. Pope Francis described this so well in Laudato Si.
As you can see, the four ‘I’s are challenging, yet at the same time a gift from our God-Providence that can provide us with clearer EYES to see God’s dream for unity and oneness among us and all people and our oneness with all creation. This requires 2021 Vision for this new decade when our world is experiencing so much division and chaos amid the pandemic.
It was at the General Chapter of 1982, that the Sisters of Providence passed a resolution to encourage the emergence of groups of lay people everywhere who wished to practice the spirituality and ministry of Providence and become part of a movement of Providence Associates. Here we are thirty-nine years later at this gathering with women and men Providence Associates from many countries, cultures, and generations.
I hope that your virtual presence together as Providence Associates exploring how God is calling you to be Bearers of the Providence Flame in Our World will find how the qualities of internationality, interculturality, intergenerationality, and interdependence that you experience these days can strengthen and guide you and all your companions into the future. Thank you for your presence and your attention.”
Many of our Providence communities and their Associates are exploring these very issues and qualities needed for our world today. I thank Sr. Karin Dufault for allowing me to share her presentation on the four ‘I’s with all of you. Hopefully it will not only give you personal “food for thought” but aid in conversations among both Sisters and Associates of Providence everywhere! How will you be bearer of the Providence flame for your community?
Barbara McMullen, CDP