The Mary Ward family, the Congregation of Jesus (CJ) and the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM) join in prayer with the families and friends of victims of cruel and senseless killings.
We stand in solidarity with all those who have raised their voices against the injustice perpetrated on many in racially-motivated attacks. The deaths of George Floyd, 46 (Minneapolis, Minnesota); Ahmaud Arbery, 25 (Brunswick, Georgia) and Breonna Taylor, 26 (Louisville, Kentucky) are painful reminders in the recent past of senseless and irresponsible behaviour and attitudes in persons who should be trusted to keep the peace.
St. Irenaeus says: “The Glory of God is a human person fully alive” and we, the Mary Ward Family, work for the Glory of God and believe that all lives are sacred, irrespective of colour, race, creed, political affiliation, gender, or social status.
We commit to pray constantly:
For comfort and justice for all victims of racial discrimination, violence and injustice, and for their families
For an end to racism and all the injustices that come with it
To identify any tendencies, conscious and unconscious, in ourselves that could promoteracism
For the inclusion of everyone. Venerable Mary Ward, our Foundress, taught us that ‘God isrich enough for us all’
Together, together. There’s a strength to be found in this circle of friends who bear the name of Jesus deep in their hearts. It’s the strength of our convictions, the energy we share as being together, praying together. We walk together in faith.
With these words and music by Deirdre Browne, we began our reunion of the IBVM Artists Gathering. On 15 May 2020 – one year after our initial gathering in Canada – over 15 participants from around the world, including two from the Generalate in Rome, gathered online to reconnect and celebrate the IBVM Arts Ministry. While we are restricted by social distancing from gathering in-person in our daily lives, gathering online afforded us the freedom to be together, to share and pray together, and to explore our creativity across the boundaries that currently separate us.
The Zoom gathering was facilitated by Sarah Rudolph, mercifully, without too many technical glitches. Jen Bromham led the opening prayer, allowing space for quiet and reflection. Clotilde de Maroussem invited us, many times, to raise our glasses in toast to one another. Deirdre Browne and Susan Daily presented The Open Circle video (below), a beautiful and inspiring reflection on the role of the arts during the coronavirus pandemic. Drawing on the inspiration of Mary Ward during times of plague in Europe, the video invited us to contemplate the role of artists during the coronavirus pandemic. We uncovered a need to engage the world through creative expression. Arlene Ashack gave an update on our collective achievements, in particular, the successful launch of the IBVM Arts Ministry and the showcasing of IBVM artists on the Anawim Arts website. The way forward continues to unfold as we look for ways to encourage the participation of more artists within our Institute and our networks.
Our gathering concluded with a communal creative activity – an art project developed by Annie Bromham and facilitated by Jen Bromham – that let us explore how we are personally moving through this pandemic time. We ended, as we begun, with prayer and contemplation on how we are one ‘circle of friends’ across boundaries; we are always ‘Together.’
Welcome to UN Update No 42 where you will read about significant events held in January and February, initiatives during preparation for UN Commissions and Forums in New York and in Africa. Continue reading “UN Update No 42”→
You have had to wait until the end of the month to see the works of our featured artist for February. We are certain that you will agree that the wait was worth it.
This month we are highlighting the photography of Clotilde de Maroussem.Continue reading “Featured Artist – Clotilde de Maroussem”→
Once again we have arrived at this special week of our Mary Ward family year – the week spanning the dates of her birth and death, when we focus our prayer and reflection on our shared inheritance from her.
This year’s Mary Ward Week resource booklet has been collated and edited by two Indian members, Prabina IBVM and Manjusha CJ in India. Once again, the contributors come from many different parts of our Mary Ward family, with the majority of contributions coming from lay Friends of Mary Ward. Our sincere thanks go to both contributors and editors for their insights into our shared charism and, of course, to our ever faithful translators and to the secretariats for their hard work on the formatting of the booklet in the nine different languages into which it has been translated.
We hope that you will find the booklet a very fruitful resource for your own prayer and reflection during this week and we invite you to share it as widely as you wish with your own colleagues, pupils and other friends of Mary Ward so that we continue to make ever wider the “open circle” of Mary Ward’s followers.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank each of you for your participation in the recent union consultation process and for all the responses we have received. The two leadership teams will now give time to working through the responses and in due course we will communicate with you both the outcome of the consultation and any planned next steps.
Venerable Mary Ward, pray for us and give us your spirit