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Members of the Catholic Religious Australia National Council for 2023/24 (CRA)

Catholic Religious Australia has elected a new national council as 140 leaders of religious congregations gathered this week in Sydney for the 2023 CRA national assembly.

With the theme “Daring to Dream”, the four-day assembly concluded yesterday and aimed to nourish religious in their Gospel dreaming and wholeheartedness for Christ and the Church. 

The assembly was enlivened through a series of engaging speakers and dynamic discussions in the context of discerning a lifegiving, synodal path in a complex and often polarised society. 

Fr Peter Jones OSA continues in his role as CRA President, while two new religious institute leaders – Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate provincial Fr Christian Fini and Salvatorian Fathers leader Fr George Kolodziej SDS – joined the council.

The remaining council members are: 

Fr Philip Watkins SSS; Br Gerard Brady CFC; Sr Philippa Murphy FDNSC; Fr Asaeli Rass SVD, Provincial, Divine Word Missionaries; Sr Mary Ryan OP; Sr Monica Cavanagh RSJ; Sr Mary-Clare Holland OP; Sr Barbara Brown-Graham FCJ; Sr Melissa Dwyer FdCC and Fr Alan Gibson CM.

Members retiring from Council – Fr Tom McDonough CP, Br Paul O’Keeffe FSP and Sr Catherine Reuter RSM – were warmly thanked for their diverse and compassionate service.

 “It is a wonderful time for us as CRA councillors to serve the Church in the context of Pope Francis’ pastoral vision for synodality,” Fr Jones said.

“There is much that we ‘do’ as Religious Leaders in Australia, however, at the heart of our vocation is our life of relationship with God and one another. I warmly welcome our new councillors as together we ‘walk with’ our communities and the Church at large.”


Back row, from left: Fr Alan Gibson CM, Fr Asaeli Rass SVD, Fr Peter Jones OSA, Fr Philip Watkins SSS.
Front row, pictured left to right: Sr Monica Cavanagh RSJ, Sr Philippa Murphy FDNSC, Sr Mary-Clare Holland OP and Gerard Brady CFC


At ‘Daring to Dream’ Assembly, new CRA National Council elected (CRA)