Mary Ward, a visionary and woman for all seasons, sought God in all things. What does “all things” mean? As Mary Ward companions, we strongly believe that this means four-fold ways: being in connection with God, self, others and creation. St Ignatius would say, ‘finding God in all things’ and in Mary Ward’s own words, ‘to refer all to God’.
We are being called to reconnect with each other in a new way. A new way of our time that symbolizes the Father-Son-Holy Spirit model. As we reflect on union, God is calling us to form new patterns of working together in our mission today as Mary Ward companions. It is a time of coming together to share our common heritage. Together we can achieve more, as one of the African proverbs says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. This can only be possible in our time if we focus on synergy. Our foundress, Mary Ward, had the incredible gift of imagining possibilities and taking risks in order to begin something new. Let us put our gifts together in order to become effective evangelizers of our time, for we are all part of this circle: the circle of life that is inclusive and life giving.
COVID-19 has not only harnessed a new sense of solidarity in our world today but it has also exposed to the world the injustice of inequality. COVID-19 aggravates the exclusion and discrimination suffered by women and men, girls and boys, children, the elderly, people living with disability, members of racial and ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples, refugees and migrants. Black Lives Matter has not only shifted the way we see the reality in the world, but also the way we feel – how we sense each other’s well-being and pain. It has indeed opened us to a deeper human connection. We see this hour as a time for reconnecting with God, self, others and creation. God is inviting us to work together to make our world a better place for all of us, especially for the marginalized and most vulnerable in our society. Mary Ward was convinced that, “Women in time to come will do much” and should not be afraid to take new paths in the service of the Church, and be open and ready to respond to the signs of the times where the need is greatest, with the face of justice.
The 21st century is a time of reconnecting and building bridges, a time for union of minds and hearts, a time of transformation, and a time to co-create our future mission, in fidelity to the charism and spirituality of our foundress, the Venerable Mary Ward. Inspired by Mary Ward’s love of God, others and creation, the members of the Mary Ward family in this booklet challenge us to build right relations with the earth and all of creation for the greater honour and glory of God.