November 08, 2020

Members of the Southern Province Share Their Approach to MGP Theme 'Presence of/with/to God'

'The Angelus' by Jean-François Millet. Public Domain

Thankfully we had our session on Mercy Global Presence before the new Covid 19 restrictions came into play today, advising people to refrain from visiting other households. Due to social distancing still in place, we decided to have two sessions.

As we went through the Resources we felt it was necessary to make some adaptions to the content to suit our group here in Kinsale. We decided to make a  hard copy of Elizabeth Davis’ presentation ‘Presence of God and to God’ available in the community room a few days before the meeting. We began the meeting with Joan giving an overview of the development of this process Mercy Global Presence reminding us that it actually began in 2016 with the MIRP  process. 

Following on MIRP and the submission of Sisters feeback, they found that the two major themes identified were 

  • Displacement of Peoples
  • Degradation of Earth.

Out of that response the Mercy Global Presence was born. The first two segments, dealt with Global and Mercy and thus we have arrived at the third segment - Presence. This is the first session on Presence, dealing with the presence to and of God.

After Joan’s overview we took a few moments to become quiet and still. To focus our attention we reflected on J. F. Millets’s painting of  ‘The Angelus’, while Eileen read from the poem ‘Present to God’  from the Artistic Resources.   We listened to the hymn ‘Be Still for the Presence of the Lord’ sung by Aled Jones, accompanied by inspiring scenes depicting nature at its best. 

Listening to a YouTube clip called  ‘The Meaning of Presence’  – a vox pop on what ‘presence’ means to people, led to further discussion in our group.

Joan gave a synopsis of Elizabeth Davis’ talk ‘Our Presence to and of God’.

We decided to choose Maura Walsh’s article from Grassroots Ministry ; Presence of/with/to God. Excerpts from it were read by a member of our group, and the images it evoked were enhanced by a PowerPoint presentation. To summarise the  theme of the whole session we played ‘The Deer’s Cry’ sung by Rita Connolly. 

Our Group's Response

The members of each group found the session very stimulating and this was clear from their engagement with the process.  Responses such as, ‘How important it is to be aware and to be aware that I am aware’, ‘Being genuine’, ‘Being fully with the other’, ‘Respect’, ‘Being aware of how I am with the other and how the other is with me’.

Maura Walsh’s presentation was real and tapped into the Sister’s own lived experience. They were particularly taken by the image of the three year old fascinated by the little ladybird and this led to the question about how we, grown ups, loose our sense of awe and wonder as we grow older. This meeting was unusual in the sense that Sisters laughed heartily as they recalled their own childhood experiences of fun, frolic and pure enjoyment. The Sisters were delighted - with

The Bird Song Opera (YouTube)  to finish our meeting. Everyone left the meeting on a high note. 

Joan O’Regan     Eileen O’Sullivan

Messages to: Sheila Curran rsm - MGP Coordinator

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