Encounter with Blessed Mary Angela

On January 14, 2018, after a long break, there was held an encounter with Blessed Maria Angela. The theme of the meeting was the Constitutions of the Felician Congregation. Sister Blazeja outlined the history of the formation of this important document in the life of the Congregation. Starting from its first version as of 1866, through shortened and corrected versions from 1874, until 1899, when the Holy See finally approved the Congregation and their Constitutions for a period of 7 years.

The sisters received excerpts of letters, mainly written by Bl. Mary Angela, regarding the Constitution. In all the writings that the Sisters could read during the meeting, one can see the great desire and eagerness of Mother Angela so that the Congregation would receive the final approval of the Church. There is also clearly visible her concern to preserve the spirit of the Congregation specific to the Felician Sisters.

Here are some excerpts given for reflection and sharing:

MM Angela, Notes for the Constitutions - January 15 [1869] - A text showing the great care of Mother Angela for the spiritual foundation of the Congregation.

Father, do not be surprised that I am for the spirituality. I am going in the spirit of the Constitutions, which says that if the Sisters are to give themselves to outside activities, they should watch more the spiritual exercises. I am not afraid of anything as of overloading external activities with omission and damage to the spiritual life. I know from experience, both my own and others, how it destroys the soul and what it drivesĀ  to.

Memoirs of the Congregation, ch. III, Religious Perfection, 1909 - Text showing and inviting to conscientiously making vows and faithfully living them.

The Sisters become religious by their profession of vows, daughters of St. Francis by accepting the Rule, and Felicians by adopting the Constitutions. Therefore, the Sister who desires to claim the name "Felician" must conscientiously observe these Constitutions, all the more, because she committed herself to God thought Profession. The Constitutions contain the spirit of the Congregation; therefore, by transgressing them, she would be departing from its spirit. Moreover, one cannot observe the Rule without observing also the Constitutions, which are the best interpretation of the Rule. (...) No religious can promise to keep only what others are observing, but she pledges to fulfill what the Rule and Constitutions prescribe. No Sister can legitimately excuse herself from the observance of the regulations, saying that at the time of her entrance into the Congregation such were the circumstances, or that she did not know any better or that she was not informed sufficiently because every Sister should first study her responsibilities according to the Constitutions before she makes her commitment. A Sister who by her neglect or lack of spirit would scandalize others with frequent transgressions, even in trivial matters - thus leading them to disregard the Rule - would bring great harm to the Congregation and corrode its foundation.

Each encounter with Blessed Mary Angela is for us an invitation to greater zeal in everyday life, so that God will be known, loved and glorified.