This past weekend, eight members of the Future of Charity and one discerner gathered at the House of Charity in New Orleans for fellowship and faith-sharing. Guiding our prayer and conversations was the theme of self-awareness and identity. As we listened to Jesus ask his disciples, Who do people say that I am? and Who do you say that I am? (Mk 8:27-30) we asked ourselves: Who do I say I am? and Who do we say we are?
Utilizing a template of George Ella Lyon's I Am From poem, we reflected on our lives and how our unique backgrounds have helped form us into the women we are today. Then, we each selected two lines from these poems to compile the following We Are From poem...
We Are From…
We are from cardboard tubes,
From playing sports and building forts.
We are from the monster bush,
a secret fortress in the yard.
We are from the forest and oceans.
We are from the Pearl of the Orient,
from brown skin, white rice and coconut milk.
We are from rotini and peanut butter-tomato sandwiches,
From the selfless giving of my father,
coaching our teams, caravanning kids, and filling up gas tanks.
We are from Sr. Armella and faithful Sunday Worship.
We are from St. John's and Catholic school,
God the Father of light bless this Advent candle.
We are from a sharp contrast between independence and interdependence.
We are from my Aunt who took me shopping for school clothes
and strong faith.
We are from a house without borders.
We are from the woods,
from untamed, fascinating freedom.
We are from the Mt. Giri that manifests the sublime beauty of nature,
quietly surrendering me to its great power.
We are from the peach tree in the backyard,
whose canopy of leaves made the perfect place for singing.
We are from wise stewardship and peaceful encounters,
though sensitive strings were rarely touched.
From keeping one another accountable
yet embracing one another's faults.
We are from the love that is stronger than the wounds.
We are from the Charity charism and all its founders,
From the women and men on whose shoulders we stand.
We are from the vision of sisters
who not too long ago dreamed of a future together.
In another exercise, we each wrote five answers to the question Who are you? and put together our favorite responses to create somewhat of a mantra for ourselves as the Future of Charity. It reads...
We are women of courage.
We are generative co-creators.
We are bridge-builders and seekers of peace.
We are Sisters of Charity in a global world.
We are women held, formed, and challenged in community.
We are able to see the light in the darkness.
We are women vowed to God.
We are human.