Retreat in Tunisia

A few days ago we had a wonderful “moment of prayer, listening to the word” led by Mgr Rault, a White father, Bishop of Ghardeya, in the Algerian Sahara. The idea came after our “Revolution…”.. our “revolutions” when we wanted to pray with someone who lived our realities, someone who would share the Word from a “place” where  we live. Father Rault was all that.  He also lived close to the monks of Tberine and with them set up “Ribat es Salem” (the place of Peace)*. We thought that in view of the intense events we are living through at the moment we needed strong resources for spiritual sustenance. The rest followed and we thought to broaden our “tent” and stretch it beyond Tunisia and beyond our community: Geneviève from Aubagne, Mireille and Andrée from Gemenos, Darlene from Cairo, Monique from Istanbul and us in Tunisia with other sisters and friends with whom we are in communion in our effort to meet “the different other”, to meet the peoples who have preceded us on this land and over whom the Spirit  is spread.

The theme of our Retreat was “the meetings of Jesus with the others” choosing to dwell on the GO rather than the COME…. so we went with the Gospel of John to reread the call and the meeting of disciples, of the Samaritan woman, of his mother at the wedding at Cana,  of the cripple, etc….”  A journey filled with the Word of God, sharp, TOPICAL, rooted in “where we are”. Beautiful liturgies, prayerful and joyful and also a sharing our revolutions as….they stand..

We thank all the participants: there were 2 priests and 4 lay friends amongst us who enabled us to broaden the space of our tents, along with 4 little “Sisters of Foucauld”, 2 of which from Libya, one F.M.M. and 8 Sisters of Sion.  Father Rault “accompanied” us with his knowledge of Arabic, his love of Algeria and the south Sahara, his will to Dialogue with Moslems and with Islam, not to mention his biblical and theological skills: we are so grateful to him!

Thank you also to our “network” that enabled us to organize these important moments for our lives. Our only regret is not to have had with us for this wonderful “retreat” any sister from Jerusalem!

Questions come to mind after this experience, for instance , how to keep the possible “creativity” we have within us and enable it to live …. how to continue to journey “together” in different areas, not through individual achievements but through collective ones.

Our joy is so great that we wanted to share it. This time of prayer showed us also that we, religious communities, Christians and our Church, are very small but we are not alone, a “multitude” surround us, we know that the Spirit spreads over all. So we journey together with joy in our GALILEE, sure that THE ONE who called us accompanies us and precedes us in this Galilee of Nations.

Sr. Aracely NDS

*Group of Christians and Moslems who share prayer and their lives. Founded in 1979 at Tiberine