The Sister Perspective: Gabrielle Marry, IBVM
Associate Program Growing Strong in Arizona
If you stand at the door of the Mary Ward Conference Room in Phoenix, Arizona at 7:00 p.m. on the First Friday of each month, what do you hear? .... Joyous greetings, laughter, happy chatting over mugs of coffee or tea, and Irish scones. Yes, these are the IBVM Associates of SS. Simon and Jude Parish as they gather for their monthly meeting to learn about Mary Ward and Ignatian Spirituality.
In 1990,Sr. Anne Fitzsimons felt a call to do the 19th Annotation Retreat with the parishioners of SS. Simon and Jude. Afterward some who had had this experience met weekly with Sr. Anne. As more people became interested in the charism of Mary Ward and the mission of the IBVM, the Associate Program evolved in Arizona. At the meetings the sisters eagerly share information about Mary Ward's life, vision and values.
It is a great affirmation and encouragement to us sisters to see women from so many walks of life enlivened by the spirit of our foundress. These women and men find themselves in a unique situation as they themselves or their children have been educated by us. They are involved in the work of the parish and the lives of the sisters. It is very heartening to us to see them live out our charism. They volunteer in many ministries and are becoming aware of social justice issues. It makes us very proud to pass on our heritage as IBVM Sisters.
"Divine love is like a fire which will not let itself be shut up -- for it is impossible to love God and not labour to extend God's honour."................Mary Ward