|Aosta Valley in the heart of the Italian Alps|
In a new way and at a deeper level, I have experienced the strong connections among Sisters of St. Joseph around the world. As I traveled to Aosta, Italy Having never been to Italy before, I was not sure what to expect. Except for feeling at a total loss for the language, I felt very much at home. Interestingly, all of us participating at the Global Coordinating Group began referring to the place we were staying that is owned by the Aosta Congregation as “home.” This year there was a great ease and wonderful sense of togetherness as we discussed important issues in four languages. Hard questions were asked and we worked towards consensus in our decision-making. There was never a sense of anyone trying to control an outcome. Actually, I think we were all surprised by the decisions we made. What was obvious was our comfortable connection with each other. We spoke different languages and came from different cultures but the connection was palpable.
|Sr. Armanda from Aosta and Sr. Gabriella from Pinerolo, our Italian hosts|
Sr. Armanda, the General Superior from Aosta, took the opportunity to introduce us to the sisters from Madagascar who were working in Aosta. Some of them were learning to speak English so a little direct communication without a translator was possible.
|Sr. Angela, Argentina, Sr. Griselda, and Sr. Odile from France|
The highlight of the meeting was Sr. Griselda’s presentation on the work that she has done this year at the United Nations. The global participation and support for this work has been very exciting and it has built stronger bonds among us.
The food was delicious with much of it grown in the Aosta Valley. Homemade bread and local cheese were a part of every meal. Soups and pastas were beyond description.
|Sr. Mary Lou on our hike|
To make this whole trip perfect, the day before and after our meetings with tremendous weather, Mary Lou Mitchell, the other United States sister attending this meeting, and I went hiking in the Alps. That was so much fun that we had to go hiking the day after the meetings too!