Community of Blind River
Sr. Jennifer Cortez, dw 

A place of renewal and tranquility brought the Sisters of Blind River together for a session on consecrated celibacy.

Sisters Monique Potvin, Diane Thibodeau and myself, Jennifer Cortez arrived at Anishinabee Centre, an appropriate setting for the session, on Anderson Lake near Espanola in the evening of Thursday, May 12th.  Sister Marie-Reine Gauthier welcomed us in her cabin with a beautiful visual on top of the centre table.

An invocation to the Spirit was sung and a simple, spontaneous prayer was said to open the session. Sr Marie-Reine gave an overview of the vow of chastity presented in its different facets.  After the talk, a guided question was given to allow us to look deeper into ourselves to examine our way of living out this vow.

The session has given us enlightenment and an occasion to deepen our understanding of consecrated celibacy using the image of Wisdom and the Cross.  The day ended with a beautiful Taizé prayer including singing, scripture reading, a gesture and a meditation on divine mercy.  This, in response to an invitation by a group that was gathered there for a session.

For me, chastity is the ultimate catalyst of the vows; it expresses love, reveals God’s image in allowing love to permeate our being and all relationships as it transforms death into a beautiful and fruitful life.

The session ended Saturday with a prayer and this concluding remark:

“The strongest attraction to chastity is the decision to return, in every aspect of our humanity, to God’s dream for us; mutual encounter and trust, which of course, includes the restoration of total respect to our words and to our bodily expressions of affection.”