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The Friends of Nano Gathering

''Now is the time to give birth to the dream.
Gather the dreams, a new day is dawning.''

A new dawn is breaking.......Nano Nagle's faith-filled prediction, ''Be assured it will flourish after our death'' has come to pass in a unique way at Ballygriffin as 24 lay people met together and shared ideas from the 25th June to 2nd July, as part of the giant oak of the Presentation Congregation through out the world. Delegates from Ireland, England, U.S.A, Chile, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Philippines, New Zealand, Pakistan, and India under the banner 'Friends of Nano' spent a week together with a very strong sense of purpose-going forward to a goal, set by Nano herself.

The programme began with an opening ritual, to invoke Divine blessings upon our meeting through the four directions prayer, the lighting of the Rainbow candle and symbolic offerings placed in the Sacred Space accompanied by readings of the Sacred texts.

The theme of the seminar was unfolded in dance form-''AWAKENING TO THE MYSTERY OF GOD'' performed by the 'Friends of Nano' in the locality. Formal introductions of delegates were made, but it was the language of the heart that prevailed and made us friends, all of us as one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Through a variety of presentations the delegates shared their idea of Nano's gift to the world and how the gift has been understood, experience and lived in their respective regions. The delegates of each region brought a symbol depicting the work of the Presentation Community in their country. To mention a few: New Zealand- a Kiwi bird, that moves at night and lays an egg 3 times larger than itself; India - a flute, hollow & dull to behold, but springing to life with a wift of air being blown through it; Pakistan- a wooden slate, symbol of enlightenment & learning; Zambia - seeds depicting new life in abundance; a mud pot; hands raised in prayer & concern; pottery & works of art spoke clearly of Nano's Charism lived out in the world at large.

The facilitating team of sisters Terry Abraham, Mary Hamahan, Helen Hyland, Carmel, Fr Jerry & Noel Keating took us through the Presentation Charism & Spirituality in a well structured, informal & interesting way, using video clips, music, dance & discussions. Aspects of Nano's charism were introduced as five C's--Compassion, Courage, Commitment, Confidence in God's providence, & Contemplation. Fr Jerry guided us in experiencing deep reflection on God's Kin-Dom values of justice, freedom & love, thereby opening our minds to what creative action Nano would have taken in life today, in the face of new challenges.

The third day's theme was 'Awakening to Wonder'.We learnt the sacred story of our Evolutionary Universe. Sr Anne Boyd a Bridgetine sister from Australia, gently led us to be ''Be Amazed! Be filled with reverence! Contemplate! Fall in love! Be entranced by the wonder of the Universe, the uniqueness of each being & the Divine Presence in all of creation''. To quote Hopkins-''The World Charged with the Grandeur of God''.

Through the Tibetian walk & later the Cosmic walk we entered into a deep solitude, followed by an awakening into a New Consciousness. The message was loud & clear that we humans as species must embrace the planet as our spiritual home or perish.

The highlight of the seminar was the pilgrimage along the streets & bylanes of Cork. Starting at Ballygriffin Nano's place of birth we ended at her tomb’-a journey that can aptly be summed up in the words ‘from the womb to the tomb' & back to the womb to symbolize the new beginning, we wanted to make in keeping Nano's charism alive in our own little corners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The candle we carried back with us was the synergy of all we felt in our hearts at that moment. The spark had been lit & back home in Ballygriffin a movement had been started-''The Friends of Nano Movement '' with its newly agreed perceptives which are (1) Compassion for the poorest (2) Covenant with creation, and in everything (3) Partnership with the Divine.

The next day each delegate was handed her lantern & commissioned to go forth &, like Nano, become bread broken & wine poured out for the least of humanity, thus continuing to celebrate our ‘Awakening to the Mystery of God.’

As I end this report I can almost hear Nano's voice, ''Yes friend, you have started your journey - keep at it - Go one pace beyond your yesterdays''.

Margaret Rosair (Chennai - India)
 

(article courtesy of www.presentationsistersunion.org)