Monday, August 26, 2013

About our sisters here

There are 67 of us participating in this General (i.e., international; all-inclusive) Chapter meeting; together we represent 51 nations where the Daughters of St Paul currently have communities or apostolic centers.

Even though we come from all over the place, the official language of the meeting is Italian, which quite a few of us can understand, especially since we have begun to have the course of preparation for final vows in Rome. But our native languages include (besides Italian, Spanish, French, English, Portuguese):

  • Japanese
  • Korean (one of the Koreans also speaks Polish)
  • Kiluba
  • Tagalog
  • Punjaby (this sister also speaks Urdu)
  • Swahili 
  • Malayalam
  • Malagasy
  • Cebuano

Plus, one of the Italian sisters speaks Chinese (she has lived in Taiwan for decades).

The median age of the group is about 60, putting me (much to my surprise) among the younger sisters. The youngest sister here, an Italian, is 37; the eldest, coming from Spain, is 78.

Among the statistics we were given, I thought it was especially interesting to see that one of the nations that has been enjoying the greatest blessings in terms of vocations is perhaps the one least likely to come to mind: our sisters in Pakistan are (and have been for the past several years) in the "top ten" nations in terms of the number of young women in formation. Here in the U.S. we are happy to be welcoming three new postulants this September (for others, college debt remains an obstacle--a serious, but common issue).

You can get the news bulletins and more photos on the official site, but here's yesterday's picture of the day:
The view of the Chapter Hall from the Korean translation booth.

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