Francis: consecrated women, an “irreplaceable presence” in the Church

This Monday morning, Pope Francis received in audience the Sisters of Charity of Saint Jeanne Antide Thouret participating in the General Chapter of the Congregation, which is being held in Rome until October 15.

Adelaide Patrignani – Vatican City

The general chapter of this congregation founded in 1799 in Besançon coincides with the start of the Synod on Synodality, opened yesterday by Pope Francis. “I would also like to take advantage of this coincidence to underline that the commitment we make as a Church to grow in synodality is also a strong incentive for Institutes of consecrated life”, underlined the Holy Father in front of the nuns.

Like those who followed Jesus and the apostles

Consecrated women, then recalled Francis, are “An irreplaceable presence in the great community in movement that is the Church”. “I like to think that you consecrated women are an extension of the feminine presence who walked with Jesus and with the Twelve, sharing the mission and making your particular contribution”, he added.

The theme of the 21e General Chapter of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Jeanne Antide Thouret is “To leave Bethany with the solicitude of Marthe and the listening of Mary”. “Two disciples who had a very important place in the life of Jesus and the Twelve, as we can see in the Gospels”, commented the Pope.

Baptism, a common root

“This confirms that above all, as women and as the baptized, that is to say disciples of Jesus, you are a living presence in the Church, participating in communion and in the mission”, continued the Sovereign Pontiff, also insisting on the importance of baptism – “This is where the root of everything is”.

“I am sure that if you really succeed in living solicitude and listening, following the example of the holy sisters Martha and Mary of Bethany, you will continue to make your contribution, a precious contribution to the journey of the whole Church” , assured François, specifically citing the “Concern for the poor”, at the heart of the charism of these apostolic nuns. “This builds up the Church, makes her walk in the way of Christ who is the way of charity”, having the “Style of God”, made of “Closeness, tenderness and compassion”, he concluded before blessing the sisters.

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