“I want to make my contribution” Mother Marie Eugenie.
During the preparation of the vigil for the celebration of the bicentenary of Marie Eugénie de Jésus’ birth and the 60th anniversary of the Assumptionist Community of Guayaquil-Ecuador, the sisters asked former students - members of different guitar groups - to help liven up the meetings. Motivated by feelings of nostalgia and with being repeatedly associated with the Assumption and music, their response was a hearty “Yes”. This meeting brought back memories and filled us with joy. It was the start of a musical project made up of graduates of different generations, putting their gifts to the service of others. This is how our adventure began.
Finding ourselves in faith, with family, in our own home and with our individual personal histories, enriched the encounter and set the tone to continue the journey. Little by little, we combined the gifts of other former students who were seeking to be part of the small group at the time. Each one, in their own unique way, contributed ideas for the proposed and organised activities. Our first meetings were not only about making music, but also about exchanging experiences that showed a shared affinity. During the first months, we participated in animating celebrations within the Assumptionist family. In this context, we understood that our vocation was to be at the service of others, evangelising through music, which brought us to decide to walk together as a community.
On 30 April 2018, the sisters presented us to Assumption Together as a new community, and we received the image of Saint Mother Marie Eugenie, whom we called “the pilgrim”. From that day on, she accompanied us in the rehearsals that were organised in the houses of each member and stayed there until the next meeting. The journey began in the large community where we looked for windows of opportunity such as animating liturgies, prayers, celebrations, novenas and other initiatives in which each member participated voluntarily. To prepare ourselves and to attain harmony, we committed to a weekly rehearsal. The time we spend in community, both in preparation and in facilitation, we do so in prayer and offer it to the Lord as a service to our church.
Our group is extremely diverse in terms of roles and professions: teachers, doctors, engineers, lawyers, psychologists, mothers, grandmothers, women with personal backgrounds and experiences that have contributed to the growth of the community. As our aim is the transmission of the Gospel through music, we count on the accompaniment of one of the sisters of the community who guides us in our rehearsals where Christ is our rock, in the same manner as Marie Eugénie used to do. Practice helps us to deepen our faith so that it is reflected in our work. This community experience helps us discover the true face of the Assumption in several aspects that we had not fully explored in our experience as students. In this way, the group tries to really be the pillars of the Assumption charism: prayer, community life and mission.
In 2020, in the midst of so much fear and despair caused by the global pandemic, the time for us to come together and pursue our mission was greatly reduced. This did not hinder our desire to continue making music. So, we found technological tools, social networks and other ways to continue to spread a message of hope and life through song. Such a change has meant an extra effort for all of us, but it is the strength of prayer and mutual support that has kept us going. Through this new experience, we experienced how we became God’s instrument to carry his message in the moments when we needed it most. In this way, we have connected with people from different parts of the world who identify with our music, as well as experiencing, through song, that for the Assumption the world is a small place.
The initiative of renewing the message of Mother Marie Eugénie gives us the opportunity to carry the Assumption in our hearts. We share the heritage of a great and powerful love through our actions. The identity of the Assumption always awakens strong and persistent emotions that do not fade over time. We carry the charism of the Assumption like a seal that fills us only with joy even in the most difficult situations. By comforting and supporting each other, our Community of Voices becomes a daily learning opportunity and a means of making our gifts available to others.
Recommencing, discovering, revisiting, deepening, awakening and connecting are part of the foundation and essence that remind us that our passion and desire to communicate is a true calling. Finally, “…when one lives in the will of God, everything becomes service and love”; these are the words of Mother Marie Eugénie whom we welcome to continue our apostolate of music at the service of the community.
ANA LORENA PETINELLI, MERCEDES DUEÑAS, YADIRA CHONG AND IVONNE GARNICA
Province of Ecuador