October 17-19, 2016
Resource persons: Fr. S.M Michael SVD (India), Sr. Dolores Zok SSpS (Poland) and Sr. Mercy Benson SSpS (Ghana)
At the outset of the day’s program Sr. Mary John expressed words of appreciation towards Sr. Elsy Mathew SSpS and Sr. Wilma SSpS for the arrangements done to make the trip of the sisters to Mysore safe and memorable. Sr. Mary John introduced Fr S.M. Michel SVD, Sr. Dolores SSpS and Sr. Mercy Benson SSpS the three speakers for the next three days.
Fr. Michael started the session with the help a devotional audio-visual presentation. He proceeded defining culture and providing a broader perspective to this aspect. The question as to how to build intercultural communities led the group to deeper thinking and better understanding of one’s own culture and one’s own personality. The highlights of the day’s sessions were individualism vs. collectivism, cultural Iceberg, cultural communication and cultural dimensions, culture and personality, culture and leadership, culture and management.
Adopting the commonly used metaphor of the iceberg, he helped the assembly to understand culture and its functional style.
The afternoon session by Sr. Dolores focused on Forgiveness and Healing. With the help of short films and video clips, Sr. Dolores shared about the need to forgive and to be forgiven. “God’s dream for us is to become free, to free others, to nurture life, to look for the worth and beauty in us and in others.” “Forgiveness is the process of removing barriers which fence me in; it is the process by which I start to accept and love myself and those who hurt me. That is the final stage of inner liberation.”
The assembly greeted the day with the Word of God along with audio-visual meditations. Sr. Miriam recalled the previous day’s sharing and discussion, then proceeded to welcoming Sr. Mercy. On this day, the conference room was arranged in such a way that the members could sit on the floor or chairs around. She began with a question “Where do you come from?” Sr. Mercy helped the Sisters to reflect on the various aspects of intercultural community living by leading them in a guided meditation. “Have I been a conflict maker because of the value system of the place I come from?” “What impact does my personality make in the culture in which I live?”
Sr. Mercy’s next topic was on FORGIVENESS. She stressed the point that one of our roles is to be instruments of healing. The participants went to their respective groups as they returned for the afternoon session. When they returned to the plenum, they shared about their experiences in the meditation that led them to go back their parental home. Important realizations were “healing is a process and it continues until we die.” “Forgiveness does not depend on others, therefore, let us forgive for our own sake.
The sessions for the day were on Interculturality and SSpS Leadership, Elements of Interculturality and Personality, Nature of the Human Person and Her Adaptation to Intercultural Living, Factors that affect Development of Personality, Causes of Conflicts in Religious Life and in Intercultural Communities, the Seven Principles of Forgiveness and Constructive/Proactive Responses to Conflicts in Community.
The three days on Interculturality was greatly appreciated by the assembly. Sr. Anna-Maria Kofler (Germany) presented the tokens of appreciation.