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FAREWELL!!! RIDE THE WAVES!!! Bernie Inocencio 05-27-222

My time in Chicago has ended, the ICCN 2021-2022 program, has completed.

The first voyage of the ICCN ship sailed in unchartered seas in summer 2021. It is now coming back to shore with some tattered sails and yet wiser crew ready for the next great adventure. It has been a wonderful, enriching, thought-provoking, and horizon-expanding journey of 9-1/2 months. My mind definitely expanded in knowledge of God, myself, my congregation, others and of knowledge of religious life.

The program gave me time to dive internally and with prayer, learning, reflection and experience I was able to discern the movement of the Spirit. The ICCN schedule was packed with CTU classes, ministry days, in-house classes, charism classes, reflection days, and ICN (InterCommunity Novitiate) classes. Community activities and prayers are interspersed within the schedule. While schedule was packed, it still gave me ample time to reflect, discern, contemplate, and recognize the hand of God at each moment, experience, encounter, relationship, and challenges. The whole ICCN experience helped me determine how God is leading me. My relationship with God deepened because my understanding of God and creation and the human condition was further expanded by the various classes, reflection days and community activities.

It has been a blessed time of weaving friendships and relationships across congregations, looking to the future filled with hope since I know I am not alone, and we are all in this together. Though we come from different congregations, we have a common charism, that is, to incarnate Christ in us and be bearers of God’s love.

The initial days with ICCN were a little challenging, trying to navigate the newness of everything, different climate, different people to live with, new structure and new program. I leave ICCN with a heavy heart yet with a mind robust in knowledge, wisdom, and filled with anticipation and wonder as to what the future holds. Such is transition.

My whole experience in the ICCN program provided me a lot of memories that I can take and that will help me in my future ministerial life as a woman religious. I am grateful to Nancy and Corrina for being wonderful mentors, their thoughtful planning of the program schedule contributed to my growth. I thank Sara for being a pleasurable companion in this journey. I am appreciative of my congregation for sending me to this program and for recognizing the need for collaboration in the future. I am thankful to all the people I met, specially the Hyde Park novices and formators, who in one way or another contributed to my growth.

Blessings ICCN. I leave you with memories of our journey. May your future voyages be successful and memorable. Ride the waves!!!

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