At a national gathering of members yesterday, Catholic Religious Australia elected Josephite Sister Monica Cavanagh as its new president.
The 42nd National Assembly of Catholic Religious Australia began on Tuesday, exploring the theme of “Religious in Australia: Evolving with Hope”. Electing a new president and council was a significant part of the gathering.
Sr Monica, the congregational leader of the Sisters of St Joseph, said it was “a great honour” to be elected by her peers.
“I believe the voice of religious men and women is very important at this time in the life of the Church and the community. We are called to be the prophetic voice – we must be courageous and respond as ecclesial women and men,” Sr Monica said.
After a structural review, CRA has moved away from state representation to a model of shared leadership.
In a statement release yesterday, CRA said: “The new council members take on this role with great energy and passion for responding to the challenges and opportunities of today’s Church and society.
“They are a council who stand together and are committed to strengthening the voice of the religious in Australia.”
CRA's new council members are:
- Peter Carroll FMS
- Eveline Crotty RSM
- Patty Fawkner SGS
- David Hawke FSC
- Mary-Clare Holland OP
- Anne Lane PBVM
- Tom McDonough CP
- Clare Nolan RSC
- Paul O’Keeffe FSP
- Noreen Reynolds OP
- Brian Vale SSC
- Lucy Van Kessel PBVM
- Stancea Vichie MSS
Sr Ruth Durick osu, provincial of the Ursuline Sisters and outgoing president, is confident in the new team.
“Catholic Religious women and men are a voice for those who are marginalised by society and by the Church. I am proud to have served as president for the past two years and will keep Sr Monica and the new council in prayer as they lead us into an emerging future.”
Sr Monica said she was deeply grateful for the leadership Sr Ruth and understands the task ahead.
“I have a vision about the Church becoming a community of disciples rather than a hierarchy. As president, I will be guided by God, and trust that the Holy Spirit can accomplish great things through our work together.”