The Dorothean identity, that the 21st General Chapter strongly highlighted, calls on us to be in our time, as a favourable time that we must rediscover as an opportunity:
… an opportune time to again savour the love of God that comes together with our life, which becomes strength and passion to go out to relate with others and move closer to them.
… an opportune time to create bonds of friendship both within and outside the community … relationships that place the person at the centre, with their history, their resources, their weaknesses and their desire for God, even if not expressed.
The Good News of a God that merges, intertwines with everyday human stories… is able to give meaning to our friendships and make them a place of recognition of the gift of God.
The visit by Mary to Elizabeth (Luke 1, 39-46), which cuts across the entire Chapter Document, is for us the image of our history, our identity and our desire to give life, motivating us to “deepen our charismatic roots in order to discover in them the presence of the laity from our the beginnings, and the transforming evangelical power of friendship and encounter in our mission”. (CGXXI, Operational Lines)
The history of our Congregation passes through the simplicity of a story of friendship… a group of young women in Quinto develop a friendship with Paula, at more or less casual encounters, Sunday walks into the mountains, some home visits during the week. This shaped a wish: share a life giving oneself over to God and youth….
It is through education that Paula and her young companions are Good News of a God who loves … with passion and compassion. Learning from their own experience of life, from encounters and the people that God places in their path (Fr. Lucas Passi and Pious Work of Saint Dorothy), Paula clearly perceived the deep educational value of friendship, in such a way that it characterizes the approach:
FRIENDSHIP, our way of EDUCATING
The relationship of proximity, made in day-to-day life, via a discreet presence … that knows and travels on the path of the heart and love, a little at a time … conquers, encourages growth and accompanies both the young and older people in rediscovering the unconditional and passionate love of God for them, in all the situations of their lives …
A way of education, of transforming the world, through specific action that make up the daily life of those who, in their mission, today share and represent Paula’s approach:
the VERBS of FRIENDSHIP
- give life
– to educate is to generate life, it is the awareness of a mission that gives meaning to all life
– to educate is to stop and give the possibility to the other to be heard and to be able to say so deep down
-educate to lower oneself, bow down and listen to the call, the voice of the young, of families, the small, the poor
– educate oneself to jointly search for paths, clues, answers…
-to educate is to learn to read life together and to recognise God who is present and active
- choose to be and to journey in the midst of people
– to educate is to be close, to place oneself side-by side and walk at the pace of the other
– to educate is to live the story growing in humanity, in responsibility, in communion with God, with others and with the Creation to generate relationships of proximity, solidarity and justice
- learn the paschal lifestyle of Our Lord Jesus Christ
– to educate is to learn that the seed must always die so that life may germinate and grow
– to educate is to believe and discover the mystery of the life that is born of passion and death because “there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”
- move from … to …
– to educate is to know how to change position
from masters specialised in … to credible witnesses
from the mass of the individuals to the person
from the security of knowing to the precariousness of the path
from distance to proximity
from action to compassion: from the grand project to the human, personal gesture
– to educate is to build relationship and friendship spaces for living together (lay people and sisters) the mission of educating
– to educate is to build educational communities open to the existential and thinking peripheries
– to educate is to build educational paths for an evangelical use of assets; for ecological awareness to safeguard the Creation; for a responsible way of inhabiting virtual spaces
– to educate is to show the route … and not be afraid to deliver oneself to the path, to life…
We are aware that educating is a gift that God gave Paula and which is renewed for us today, so we strongly ask for this grace: that the tenderness of the face of God becomes present and visible to humanity.