FIFTH Provincial Chapter of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, St. Mary’s Province, Bangalore

Adhering to Covid-19 protocols, the Provincial Chapter of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, St. Mary’s Province, Bangalore took place from 14 th to 23 rd November, 2020 directed by the theme, “Revitalizing our PHJC presence and Spirit in the World to be Bearers of Communion and Compassion.” In a Zoom inaugural conference, Sr. Judith Diltz, the General Superior, addressed the Provincial Chapter body stressing the main responsibilities of the Chapter, namely, to promote the mission of the Congregation to further the unity among the members.

It was indeed a time to respond to the call of God individually and as a province in the spirit and charism of St. Katarina Kasper with renewed vigor, conviction and enthusiasm in this millennium.

The preparation process of the Chapter which included the work of the Chapter Commission and Pre-Chapter meetings with different communities at different intervals where all members could participate were well organized under the aegis of our facilitator, Rev. Fr. S. Arulandam CSs.R . These meetings prepared our communal thinking and selection of topics of importance to discuss and discern as to our future direction. The actual Chapter days too were well planned and well executed. The apt question proposed by the facilitator and the table discussions followed by open mic dialogue helped members to express their views freely on the areas that needed to be reconsidered, renovated and transformed.

The short and timely input sessions by the facilitator, group discussion, interaction, reflection and sharing enabled us to expand our hearts to deeper contemplation, inspiration, insights and greater awareness to revitalize the PHJC spirit and to live in communion and compassion as we focus our missionary priorities. We experienced the urgency to dive deeper into the charism and spirituality of the Foundress in the face of the multiple social, cultural and scientific influences of today.

The presence of our General Councilor Sr. Betty who was moderator of the Chapter was very encouraging. Her short input before the session set the tone for the day. The daily creatively planned liturgy and the use of technology enhanced the themes and attuned us to movement in the right direction.

The processing and passing of Chapter proposals was a time for rebuilding our future. The study of the core values selected by the Chapter commission was approved by the delegates and thus we are called to imbibe these values for credible PHJC presence. The nine core values accepted and approved by Chapter are: God experience as a Handmaid, prayerfulness, commitment, simple life, compassionate love, inclusiveness, availability, transparency and hospitality.

The day of discernment was a deeper call for the delegates to elect those leaders who would take the province forward bearing in mind the spirit and call of Chapter to revitalize our PHJC presence alive in communion and compassion.

The newly elected members are:
Sr. Josephin Provincial Superior
Sr. Pauli Vice Provincial
Sr. Roshni Provincial Councillor
Sr. Gladys Provincial Councillor

Each of the participants was invigorated with hope for the future, passion for the present and gratitude for the past. In her vote of thanks during the closing session, Sr. Flora, the present Provincial Superior, encouraged members to live the spirit of the Chapter with courage and commitment. She thanked profusely each and every one for their valuable contributions to the success of the Chapter.