Leaders say less autonomy gives more edge to orders' work
The head of the peak body of nuns, brothers and religious priests has noted the decisive trend among religious congregations of collaborating in their ministries, with each other, with lay people, other church bodies, and people from other faiths.
Brigidine Sr Rosemary Joyce (pictured), President of the Australian Conference of Leaders of Relgious Institutes, was addressing the body's four day Annual Assembly in Sydney, which concluded in on Saturday. The event involved 120 leaders of Australian Religious Institutes, representing over 8000 Australian Religious men and women.
"We gain new sight and new effectiveness by including one another. We once operated with greater autonomy than at present," said Sr Rosemarie. "Collaborative approaches - among ourselves, with lay people, with other Catholic church bodies, with other churches, with peoples of other faiths - offer a new edge to religious congregations."
The Assembly examined the ways in which member congregations singly and together are adapting their many health care, educational, social welfare, pastoral and spiritual services to meet new circumstances. Religious reported that they find new vitality through the partnerships now open to them.
"Our mission is constant," Sr Rosemarie insisted, "yet society is changing, so fidelity urges us to find fresh ways to express this mission today."
Under the theme 'Being Led to See Again' and guided by theologian Fr David Ranson, the assembly prayed together and reflected on the story from Mark's gospel of a blind man who was gradually given sight by Jesus.
Also at the Assembly were representatives from the Religious Conferences of New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and the Pacific Islands. Representatives from the bishops, diocesan clergy, and several Vicars for Religious also attended. The Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Ambrose de Paoli attended the first day of the Assembly and gave a personal reflection at the opening dinner.
Australian Conference of Leaders of Relgious Institutes Annual Assembly Sydney (ACLRI 2/7/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Australian Conference of Leaders of Relgious Institutes (currently offline)
Religious leaders urge: "Embrace Difference in a global culture of fear" (CathNews 21/6/04)
Australian Religious Institutes leaders elect new president (CathNews 27/6/02)
4 Jul 2005