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Annual gathering of Religious Life in Archdiocese of Edmonton

The 4th of May 2019

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This gathering brought together 65 sisters and 22 associates for the annual spring Assembly of the Council of Consecrated Woman.

In the welcoming word and the time of prayer, the sisters who died from last year were mentioned with their photo, also mentioned were the sisters who left the archdiocese to another diocese, even in another country, and the new sisters who have recently arrived. Sister Hazel Dalton was happy to notice this year for the first time there are more sisters arriving than leaving..

After a report on activities and other information for the day, Sister Teresita Kambeitz, OSU general councillor of the Ursulines of Prelate Congregation, was invited as speaker.

Sister Teresita introduced us to the figure of Mary Magdalene in this way.
Mary Magdalene is mentioned 12 times by the Evangelists, and Saint Luke notices that Jesus cured her of 7 demons. Number 7 is a symbolic number which speaks about “the whole” in the Bible. Gospels were written by men and this woman was not in their plan.
She doesn’t fit the established rules of conduct and they are uncomfortable and questioned by this woman’s presence and wisdom.

In 2009 archaeological research uncovered the site of Magdala. Among the discoveries there was a. tower used to dry fish. Several persons thought that Mary Magdalene was an important woman in this town. Perhaps she was a widow and she was the merchant of this dry fish. So we can think that she was an intelligent, competent person with money and maybe some authority

SIt’s noticed that Jesus healed her of seven demons.
We can think that these demons are weaknesses that prevent people from realizing themselves : low self-esteem, bitterness, apathy, closed in her-self, laziness, depression, despair.
iautocompasión, flojera, depresión, desesperanza. El ser una mujer que tenía que tratar con hombres fuera de los esquemas mentales de éstos, le tuvo que provocar mucho conflicto y mucho desgaste, y pudo llegar a vivir esos siete demonios.

The encounter with Jesus, his welcoming, his tenderness, gave her self-confidence, the strength to stand up to those who questioned her. The Love of Jesus released her, healed her. The 7 demons were transformed into 7 “gifts”: low self-esteem in positive sense of worth, bitterness in a deep peace of soul, apathy in a joyful creativity, self-pity in deep gratitude, laziness in enthusiasm for life, depression in opening to love and be loved and despair in hope filled joy.

Mary Magdalene is named among the women who were in the group of the disciples and helped Jesus with their resources (Luke 8,1-3). Her courage is indisputable. The morning of the Shabbat, as ‘it is still dark’, she goes to the tomb of the crucified without prudence and common sense that it could be dangerous. Her love is stronger than her fear: “she was in love and desired ‘all’.
Our faith is founded on the resurrection, and she was the first witness and we can consider her as one of the founders of Christianity. In the first five centuries of Christianity, she received the title “apostle of the apostles” and “builder of Church”. In the iconography she is in equality with Peter.

When she was outside the tomb, Jesus said to her “don’t touch me” (John 20, 17), but the exact translation is “don’t hold me back”: don’t hold me back in my earthly state, because I’m already in another dimension.
Mary Magdalene couldn’t say more than: ”I have seen the Lord”. Another dimension was opening and Mary was the first witness.
Sister Teresita has concluded her intervention by the question: “who is Mary Magdalene today? Each of us”

Let Mary Magdalene help us to be courageous, to love of all our strength and to be witness of infinite love of God.

Comunity Saint Kateri, Edmonton