Relationship of Trust: Loretto-Ghana Sister Community Committee
By Lillian MoskelandAt the close of this past summer, the Loretto-Ghana Sister Community Committee — Marie Ego, Pauline Albin, Elise André, Betsy Clute and Lillian Moskeland — and the Daughters of the Most Blessed Trinity (FST) sisters Emily Owusu-Ansah and Veronica Adomako-Manu were joined at the Motherhouse by Barbara Roche as facilitator for four days of reflection and growth centered around the three-fold model: Who are we? Why do we exist? How do we govern? We all wanted to go deeper in our connection, to work together in this relationship as equals and to draft a mission statement of who we are as distinct sister communities.
To begin our time of contemplation, Elaine Prevallet joined us and shared that the global cultural horizon in our present day is a gift and to encourage us through prayer and reflection to a deep sense of trust. We were all reassured by the Quaker verse: “Thou cannot stray; the path turns with thy feet.” We were encouraged to keep in mind how we can deepen our missions through this committee. Emily and Veronica offered the adapted words of Meister Eckhart: “The seed of God grows into God and so let yourself go and let God be God in you.” Throughout our time together we kept trust of each other and of each other’s communities before us.Our discussions centered on the issues before each of our communities. Barbara guided us to keep centered on the perspectives of each individual, Loretto and FST level. Loretto is in a time of change as we age and look with trust to our continued mission in the future. The FST sisters face the time of increasing membership and broadening of work as they respond to ever-increasing needs. These are “exciting times” in each community. They are also times of stress calling for trust.
Our task was to complete a statement of solidarity for our committees. We worked diligently on developing a strong mission identity statement which we each would take to our communities. Loretto presented the statement to the Forum and the FST sisters took it for approval to their community.
Personally, we grew and strengthened our relationship. We caught up on our countries as well. This is an election year for both of our countries. We each now have a new president, and we both must
keep in mind our history and the work that we do in times of change. We spoke of the hope of some in our committee to be future guests of the FST sisters and discussed what is the best time for such a visit due to climate and the availability to travel to some of the rural areas where Veronica will be working.Our meetings were enhanced by the visits that Emily and Veronica shared with the Motherhouse Community. The PowerPoint lecture prepared by the sisters allowed us to see the bigger picture of a congregation full of energy in expanding work. But the biggest picture was presented by the two sisters who traveled the long miles to share with us the work that we each share to love the world and stand still and be astonished (paraphrased from “Messenger” by Mary Oliver).