5 July 2018Sister Rekha, Our new General Superior Father André Cabes, Rector of the Sanctuary of Lourdes, presided over the election of the Superior General, and announced it to the sisters gathered in the chapel: capitulars, diakonia and sisters from the nearby communities. « Sister Rekha has been elected Superior General of the Congregation, we have witnessed this election, the sister Rekha is therefore your legitimate Superior General, who receives all the Grace to fulfill her mission, in the name of the Father, of the Son and the Holy Spirit. AMEN.” After this solemn proclamation, our new Superior General advanced towards the altar, and on her knees, was blessed with this prayer: « God of love and goodness, only you do wonders, pour out the Spirit of Grace and salvation on your servant, Sister Rekha and on the Congregation entrusted to her, and so that she can please you, pour out your blessing on her as the dew falling from the heavens. Through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the communion of the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. AMEN.” After the blessing, Father André Cabes gave her the seal of the congregation which she placed on the altar. The sisters then all went to make the moving and beautiful gesture of obedience to her, accompanied by songs of praise and thanksgiving. After the ceremony of proclamation of the new Superior General, we spent some time celebrating: a festive meal, gathering together in fraternal encounter and Vespers. The presence of the communities of Bordeaux, France and San Sebastian, Spain, enriched our gathering and increased our joy. During the fraternal encounter, Rekha shared a lot about her life and personal history, thanks to the questions the Sisters asked her. Rekha was born on December 15, 1963 in a small village in Kerala, in a family with deep Christian roots. She is the second of six siblings. Two of her three sisters are also religious, and one of her two brothers, a diocesan priest. What fascinated her about the Assumption was its choice and commitment to the poorest, and its social work. Her sharing about her family and about the Assumption in India manifested much fraternal affection and love. She studied theology in Pune, and later, encouraged by the Jesuits of the University who wanted her as a teacher, she studied Biblical Sciences at the Biblical Institute in Rome and received her doctorate in the USA. She shared her passion for the Bible, and specifically the Gospel of Saint Luke, source of her mystery, « Jesus the Redeemer ». She, however, specialized in the Gospel of Saint John, the evangelist of the « Logos » (λογος) leading her to have this word Logos engraved on her ring. She was a full-time professor of Biblical Theology at the Jesuit University of Pune, until the Congregation entrusted her with the mission as Provincial, a task she has carried out for the last eight years. This did not stop her from lecturing and writing. Pope Benedict XVI personally invited her to participate in the Synod on the New Evangelization as an expert in the field. According to her, it was a profound Ecclesial experience. In addition, we learned that she likes the colour purple, and that dancing relaxes her. She did us the honour of dancing for us while the two delegates from the Indian Province sang. Then she invited us all to dance with her. We have six years to continue knowing her, but we appreciate this first sharing. The day ended with the prayer of Vespers. No doubt, a picture is worth more than a thousand words, and the photos can capture the meaning of gestures and symbols.