AW in the News
2017 International Encounter of the Friends of Wisdom
With Wisdom Let Us Be Prophets of Hope
2017 International Encounter of the Friends of Wisdom
August 16- 24, 2017
Saint Laurent sur Sèvre
Friends of Wisdom came from 15 countries to walk together in the footsteps of Montfort and Marie Louise. They came bringing the richness of their cultures and their journeys with Wisdom. They came seeking Wisdom. They came from their service to the poor. They came with a love of the Daughters of Wisdom with whom they collaborate in ministry. They brought their deep faith and prayer to our encounter with one another.
The Pilgrimage, organized by Sr. Chantal Rabier, Sr. Marie Laure Paillet, Nic Slaus and Pierre Marie Micheaux challenged us to be “prophets of hope in our world today – a hope anchored in our social, cultural, economic and spiritual reality.”
Each day brought us together around a shared family story in the life of Marie Louise and Montfort. We prayed and reflected at Poitiers, coming to know Marie Louise in her struggles and her persistence in birthing the Congregation of the Daughters of Wisdom. We travelled to La Rochelle to the hospital where Montfort welcomed the poor, the misfits, of which the Sisters were in charge. There in deep silence, we walked the worn wooden steps to Marie Louise’s bedroom. It is difficult to describe the silences that accompanied our trips across the Cesson Bridge, the day at Pontchateau, the cave at Mervent – silences filled with the holy and with Wisdom. At each place, the story of Montfort, his passionate preaching, love of the poor, the Cross and Mary were recounted, as well as his sufferings and disappointments. Walking the Stations of the Cross at Pontchateau brought to mind the suffering world all around us.
In the midst of our pilgrim journey, we had fun filled entertainment from the different countries, enjoyed delicious French food and formed friendships. In the final session of the Friends of Montfort meeting, there was a plea that the Daughters of Wisdom set up an International Friends of Wisdom Committee to continue these encounters and to keep Friends in the entities linked in creative ways. Sr. Louise Madore, Superior General made a commitment to make that happen.
What do we take back home? Here are some reflections.
“I found the Wisdom that is in me by following Louis de Montfort; I believe that to befriend Wisdom is to be work with the poor.”
“Mary was always like at the cross. Now I understand her differently. She faced problems like I do. I feel I can turn to her now.”
“It gives me new spiritual commitment. To speak of the places is nice, but to come to the places changes one’s life. “
I didn’t want to come- be separated from my family- but I feel now the faith of everyone here and I go home to do the mission.”
“I did not like the poor- was afraid of them…I want to change that. I want to find wisdom, like Montfort did. How do you find wisdom?”
Pictured above (L-R) are Associates of Wisdom Maria Roja, Bonnie Zaman, MayAnne Danyluk and Suzanne O'Brien.
Bonnie and MaryAnne were recently installed as new Associates of Wisdom.
Daughters of Wisdom Welcome New Associates
April 29, 2017
MaryAnne Danyluk and Bonnie Zaman were welcomed as new Associates of Wisdom to the Wisdom community at the Montfort Retreat Center in Litchfield, CT where they signed their First Covenant during a ceremony in the Chapel. Pictured with Bonnie and MaryAnne are Associates Maria Roja and Suzanne O'Brien who were their spiritual companions during formation. Blessings on your journeys, MaryAnne and Bonnie!
“THE OPening WORD ”: An Experience of Fortitude
by Audrey J. Schroeder, AW
In September 2015, having been given the blessing of Sr. Cathy Sheehan, DW, I embarked on a new project. The Amityville Dominicans had been working at three sites on Long Island for over 20 years teaching women from various countries, new to our country and our language. ESL is something I was trained to do back in 2002 and taught on a one-to-one basis but never in the classroom. Well, Sr. Catherine Pelusa OP gave me a quick look-over and advised that “we’ll see how it works out”. Whew was I scared…. Anyway, I have not been put out on the curb yet and thoroughly enjoy my Mondays at St. Hugh of Lincoln in Huntington Station. Sr. Marilyn Soeder, DW and Sr. Bernadette Sassone, DW greeted me with open arms as they had joined this intercultural teaching effort a few weeks before me. The two Sisters from South America, Sr. Marie de Jesus, DW and Sr. Marie Therese, DW arrived a few months ago and are eagerly learning English themselves.
There are now classes for men held in the evenings. It seems to be a huge success due to our enthusiastic DW’s and the OP’s and all the volunteers who support each other as well as the students. The Administration Team and the Board of Directors work tirelessly to ensure educational as well as financial success.
This is truly a gift to me. The grace I receive, the gratitude of the women I teach has enriched me in ways I cannot express. Let’s just say the enthusiasm of these hard working students, many of whom work more than one job, raise children and attend classes five days a week makes me want to share their successes with all I meet.
I am currently working on the 25th Anniversary Committee of The OPening Word celebration. It is being held in April 2017 and you will get more information on that as soon as I have the final details. By all means check out the website: www.openingword.org. Maybe some of you would be interested in learning more or…. even teaching!
Read more about the activities of the Associates of Wisdom in the Winter 2016/2017 Issue of Wisdom's Voice. Click the icon below.