Purify our hearts from all injustice through your gracious coming.
Mother Theresa Letter #2053, Trust & Dare, December 5
By Sister Kathy Schmittgens, International Shalom Coordinator
What breaks your heart? What breaks the heart of God? What is at the heart of your heart? These were just some of the questions that were reflected on at the International Shalom meeting from October 18-25 at the Motherhouse in Munich.
Branch Representatives Sister Maria-Theresia Knippschild (Europe), Sister Helen Galadima (Africa), Sister Francine Perez (Asia & Oceania), Sister Rosa Maria Trochez (Latin America), and Tim Dewane (North America) along with Sister Julie Lattner, General Council Liaison, Sister Eileen Reilly, UN/NGO Representative and Kathy Schmittgens, International Shalom Coordinator met to formulate the Shalom Focus and Commitments for the next two years.
Being close to Blessed M. Theresa made those days particularly special. The meeting opened with an evening prayer at the tomb of Blessed M. Theresa. We were able to celebrate Foundation Day with a visit to Regensberg and liturgy at Stadtamhof.
Taking the theme “Into the heart of the world” we received input from Sister Julie Lattner on the General Council’s Vision in the light of Love Gives Everything and did our own reflection on what is stirring in our hearts as we look at what is stirring in the heart of the world.
Listening to the reports from the five branches was powerful. We hope that somehow we can share this information with more sisters throughout the Congregation.
Again looking at the heart of the world we visited Dachau Concentration Camp to open our eyes to what can happen and what humans are capable of when injustice, prejudice and racism go unchecked. Each of us found that there are echoes of this in many parts of our world today.
Taking into consideration all these experiences and the dialogue among ourselves, we decided on the following as our Focus and Commitments for the next two years.
Shalom Focus and Commitments 2018-2020
The Triune God impels us into the heart of the world to be women of peace, hope, and love. In the spirit of Blessed M. Theresa and Mother M. Caroline, we, the members of the Shalom International Network, guided by You Are Sent, Love Gives Everything, and Catholic Social Teaching, commit to:
- We will continue to study Catholic Social Teaching, in particular Laudato Si’
- We will promote efforts to strengthen just structures, and change unjust structures.
- We will promote our centers of prayer for peace and find ways to broaden participation in prayer for peace.
- We will foster the living and witness of reconciling love in community and today’s global world.
In collaboration with others
- We will strengthen our networking within Shalom and the UN/NGO office.
- We will collaborate with others working for peace, justice and integrity of creation locally, nationally, and internationally.
- We will continue to celebrate UN International Days and Church days related to Shalom.
For the dignity of life
- We will develop attitudes and skills necessary for intercultural living.
- We will work for human rights, especially among migrants, refugees, and all who are discriminated against in our societies.
And the care of all creation
- We will make lifestyle choices that promote integral ecology.
- We will make decisions that counteract climate change in ways that are appropriate for our local environment and encourage legislation that will help our ailing planet.