Communio Internationalis Benedictinarum

Sunday 14 September: Fifth Day of the Symposium

Sunday 14 September Exaltatio Sanctae Crucis
Fifth Day of the Symposium

Today in our liturgy our praise and prayer to the Lord was in many different languages.

Morning Session

We celebrated Mass at 9 am with the monks of San Anslemo, their guests and their regular congregation.

After a break, we assembled to hear Sister Mary John Mananzan:

Sister Mary John Mananzan

introducing Sr Mary John

introducing Sr Mary John

Listen… with the Ear of our Hearts to the Signs of the Times

Part One: God speaking in the signs of the times, in people, in nature

Sr Mary John ended her session talking about the ‘groaning of creation’. Instead of having a group discussion, we watched a series of images on that subject.

Our facilitators suggested that the feast of the day, the Exultation of the Holy Cross, would help us mediate on the crosses that people are carrying on their shoulders, not only people, but the earth as well.

We concluded by singing ‘Christus Vincit’.

Afternoon Session

None was led by the African sisters.

Listen to None:–


This was followed by the second part of Sr Mary John’s talk.

Sr Mary John

Listen to Sr Mary John, part two (English)

Part two: Our Response as Religious Women

Photo Language, Listening Through the Signs of the Times

Our instructions:
For the afternoon session, bring the pictures on theme of suffering

that you were asked to bring with you to the symposium, and display them on your table.

  1. Look at the pictures displayed on your tables.
  2. After having looked at all the pictures on your own table make a second round and pick up the one that struck you the most.
  3. Listen to what God is telling you about the picture.
  4. Share with the group what God’s challenge is for you at this point in time.

A couple of sisters shared with the whole assembly, then we moved on to our Open Forum with Sr Mary John.

The pictures were moved from the tables and laid out where we could all see them, they remained there for the rest of the Symposium.

The session ended with ‘Christus Vincit’, and background music as we looked at the pictures.

View the pictures on the theme of suffering (Flickr)

At Vespers, we sang the traditional Latin hymn, ‘Pange lingua gloriosa’, but the psalms were in English and Italian, the Magnificat African-style, and the intercessions in German!

Christus Vincit, Christus Regnat, Christus Imperat!