Welcoming the Jubilee as Pilgrims of Hope

Those in Consecrated Life, like all other members of the Church, are called to live a time of preparation for the Holy Year 2025.

Those in Consecrated Life, like all other members of the Church, are called to live a time of preparation for the Holy Year 2025. It is an opportunity given to us as consecrated men and women in the Church to consider our vocation and to rediscover its beauty. We are also invited to rethink all that needs to be modified and renewed in order to respond more authentically to the voice of the Spirit, which is always new and attractive.

In the beginnings of the Order of Preachers, there was only Dominic with a few others impassioned by the call for a strong, demanding and vital renewal in the life of the Church. Our Father Saint Dominic and his companions at the beginning of the Order teach us how to be those beacons that humanity needs in difficult times. Led by the fire of the Spirit, they spread the freshness of the Gospel to all those they met, with simplicity, closeness and depth, without imposing the Truth but rather by the path of peace and dialogue.

Representatives of Consecrated Life from 60 countries took part in the meeting held in Rome from 1 to 4 February 2024, corresponding to the second preparatory phase for the Jubilee, on the theme “Pilgrims of hope on the way of peace”. We were asked to consider together, through dialogue in the spirit and in a synodal atmosphere, the joys, sorrows and dreams we have as consecrated persons in our specific environments. This type of sharing allows us to recognise the urgent need to help each other to find new ways to use our gifts so that God may write a new history with us.

Three strong verbs framed the work we were asked to do together in our meeting:

to believe, to grow and to walk.

  • To believe in hope; in Jesus, in his word, in his love. The invitation is to let oneself be embraced, believing in the Word who says “You are my beloved child.” St. Dominic believed in Jesus. That is why with all his strength he embarked on the task of announcing this Good News, desiring that all be saved, knowing that he was God’s beloved child.  At the feet of Jesus, welcoming his gratuitous love, listening to him and to each other, is a good way to prepare ourselves to live the Jubilee.
  • To grow in charity, contemplating the way Jesus lived and how He relates to us, as St. Dominic did, weeping with compassion for sinners. Growing in charity means leaving behind old styles that do not help us to live as brothers, to adopt new ways of bonding, of caring for one another, without discrimination.
  • Walking involves all the senses, a change of posture, attention to what happens along the way. This movement alludes to the fact that our experience is not meant to be kept to ourselves. We are bearers of a Good News that has first moved us and we want to share it with others, welcoming also what is offered to us in our brothers and sisters.  May St. Dominic, Itinerant Preacher, help us to divest ourselves of our safe and quiet worlds in order to take the risk of going out to meet others in mutual enrichment.

The Congregation to which I belong is also living a jubilee year, the 50th anniversary of our Foundress’ Easter. Our religious family is relatively young, having been in existence for 83 years. We were founded by a Dominican nun from Argentina, Mother Imelda Zapata, and a Paraguayan bishop, Monsignor Juan Sinforiano Bogarín. 

For some years now we have been reviewing our congregational history, in order to further clarify our identity as Dominican Sisters with the charism proper to our foundation. These special times of jubilee help us to be open to the renewal of the Spirit together as a community.

As a Congregation, we are in tune with the Church, we feel called to rekindle the fire of our consecrated life. With slow steps, we are understanding the need for a profound transformation that will make us witnesses of hope, in communion with the men and women of our time.

Sister Nilda Ynés Lugo Samaniego, OP

Sr Nilda Ynés Lugo Samaniego, OP, belongs to the Congregation of Dominican Missionary Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, founded in Paraguay. Born in Paraguay on 10 January 1971, she has been a professed religious for 32 years. In addition to the religious formation received in the Congregation, she has taken courses in vocational accompaniment and initial formation. At the formal academic level, she is a Teacher of Initial Education and has a Licentiate in History from the Catholic University of Asunción, Paraguay. She currently works as a teacher of novices and teaches History and Religious Culture in a school of the Congregation.

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