Communio Internationalis Benedictinarum

Wednesday, 10 September: First Day of the Symposium

Wednesday, 10 September
First Day of the Symposium

click here to see photographs of the beginning of the Symposium (Flickr)

The first morning session of our Symposium began with ‘Veni, Sancte Spiritus’.Sr Judith Ann then welcomed us to the Symposium, introduced some of the people present, and gave us some explanation of what we would be doing.

Read Sr Judith Ann’s welcome address  (pdf)
English    Deutsch   Español    Français   Italiano

Listen to Sr Judith Ann’s welcome address:–

Listen to the introductions by Sr Judith Ann:–

After a short break, it was time for Mass, followed by lunch and free time until 3.30, when we gathered in the cloister for the start of the Opening Ritual.

Opening Ritual

We gathered in the cloister, and processed in singing ‘Veni, Sancte Spiritus’. As part of the procession, the young sisters, moving around the room, created a ‘line’, a heartfelt example of unison in its moving in tandem while touching each other and one’s own heart.

Watch the entry procession  (YouTube)

The CIB Candle, the Globe of the World, the Rule of St Benedict and the Holy Scriptures were solemnly carried in and put in place to the accompaniment of ‘Song at the Center’ by Marty Haugen.

Opening Prayer by Sr Judith Ann

Listen to the Opening Prayer

Reading: Proverbs 2:1–5

Listen to the reading:–


Response: ‘Obsculta, obsculta me inclina aurem cordis tui’

Role call of Regions

Sr Judith Ann invited the delegate from each Region to come forward and introduce the sisters from her Region. The other people present at the Symposium were also included.

After each group of regions had been called, Sr Judith Ann said:
‘Daughters of Saints Benedict and Scholastica, peace be with you.’
The sisters standing at the front responded in their own languages:
‘Peace be with you’, and everyone else present said in their own language:
‘Welcome, Sisters’

Lectio on verses 1 to 3 of the Prologue to the Rule of Saint Benedict

The passage was read aloud in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish.

Listen to the passage being read:–

The sisters at each table reflected on a word or phrase that spoke personally to them. After the reading they shared three minutes of silence after which the word or phrase was written on a small card. The sisters shared their word or phrase and placed the card on the cloth in the centre of their table. The cards stayed on the tables for the the Symposium.

All sang: ‘Obsculta, obsculta me inclina aurem cordis tui’, followed by the prayer and dismissal.


The Opening Rite concluded with a hymn to Benedict and Scholastica.
(Tune:  BEECH SPRING  Text:  Diana Seago, OSB ©2003, Mount St. Scholastica, Atchison, KS.)

Sr Judith Ann’s Four Year Report

After a short break, we gathered for the Moderator’s four year report, but before Sr Judith Ann began, our facilitators lead us in getting to know each other by introducing ourselves to five other people, complete with song and actions, followed by words of welcome from the Abbot Primate Notker Wolf.
Sr Judith Ann introduced the Abbot Primate—and presented him with the first copy of the new Catalogus.

Listen to our facilitators leading us in getting to know each other:–


Listen to Abbot Primate Notker Wolf:–

Abbot Primate Notker Wolf

Listen to Sr Judith Ann’s four year report:–

Sr Judith Ann’s four year report (English)

Read Sr Judith Ann’s four year report   (pdf)

Sr Judith Ann’s report was followed by an open forum, then introductions and announcements.

Sr Judith Ann also read out, in Italian, the address she had prepared for our audience with Pope Francis which sadly had been cancelled.

Vespers was in English, then supper—another chance to get to know each other!