Day 1 at the World Meeting of Families in the RDS
|With our Brother from the Society of St. Paul|
It's hard to believe the WMOF is starting. As a community and as a Delegation we have been preparing for this for a number of months and the Sisters are looking forward to participating in the programme as pilgrims as well as being present at our exhibition stand. We decided that the first group would go to early Mass at 7. 30 am in the Poor Clares in Simmonscourt so as to be able to open the stand when the RDS opened at 8 am. I was privileged to be able to give my service in a different capacity, for the clergy registration for the WMOF. Wearing my other 'hat', we had also been preparing for this for a number of months to assist in ensuring all visiting clergy had the proper paperwork from their Diocese so as to be a priest pilgrim at the event. It was an interesting week as we met priests from all over the world, spoke different languages, tried to be a welcoming presence and of assistance to ensure that they had their accreditation. This meant that I wasn't present too much at our stand but in the quieter moments I went down to see how the Sisters were doing and also visit some of the other exhibition stands.
Some of the Sisters shared their experience of the RDS and of meeting the different pilgrims from around the world. We have Sisters from different countries so pilgrims were very happy to be greeted often in their native language. We prepared quotes from Amoris Laetitia in English, French, Spanish and Italian for pilgrims to take. The prayer space to leave intentions was greatly appreciated and we received many intentions. In a world where often we may think that religious life is irrelevant, it was a reminder to us that people appreciate Sisters as a praying presence to intercede for the needs of the world, especially the most broken and suffering.
During the day, the Sisters took turns in being on the stand and alternated to go to some of the talks or pray in the Prayer Space and simply 'be' and walk around and meet people. All corners of the world converged in the RDS to be one family walking in faith.