Good Shepherd Sisters and Partners-in-Mission in Asia Pacific Region have participated in a virtual Intercontinental Congregational Assembly (ICA-8) from 12-16 October 2020. This is the last ICA of the entire Congregation where the five units in Asia Pacific Region: Central East India-Nepal, South West India, East Asia (Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia), Indonesia and Sri Lanka-Pakistan joined together. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the congregation to be more creative which resulted in Virtual Assembly.
The Congregational Chapter theme 2021, “Drawn by Love, Passionate for Justice” is taken as the theme of this ICA. The ICA was facilitated by Donna Fyffe and Catherine Schnieder OSF. Monica Brown and Hilary Musgrave had led the liturgy. The Good Shepherd Communication coordinator, Sister Monique Tarabeh and her team, Mary and Marco, helped us in the function of information communication technology. We would like to extend our gratitude to all from the bottom of our hearts.
New ways of meeting brought about by COVID-19 pandemic allowed more participants instead of those elected delegates alone. Sisters and Partners-in-Mission have actively participated in the sessions studying and reflecting on the documents together.
Participants, after having heard the facilitators, broke into small groups and shared in the Sacred Space together which was followed by sharing the outcome in the big group by the designated representatives from different Units. Important messages were gathered by the secretary to be sent to the Congregational Chapter Planning Committee via email. These messages will be taken into the coming Congregational Chapter in 2021.
Sisters and Partners-in-Mission were so enriched and inspired by the experience of the ICA. Looking to the new horizon and beyond, the Good Shepherd Asia Pacific was drawn by love and reinforced by passion for justice. Some of the main themes discussed and reflected upon deeply include Global “learning” Congregation, Inclusiveness, GS Culture and journey into inner Sacred Space to discover something new and move on to the new horizon. This experience brought awareness to the participants to think beyond our scope, and to move beyond our comfort zone so as to construct strategies to respond to the signs of the time.