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Congregational leaders from Oceania at the UISG gathering in Rome last month (Supplied)

Religious congregational leaders from around the world met in Italy last month to reflect upon the Synod on Synodality’s first assembly and to hear the wisdom of those who had participated, writes Sr Monica Cavanagh RSJ. Source: Pathways.

The 270 participants at the November 27-29 gathering in Sacrofano, on the outskirts of Rome, came from each continent, representing many cultures and institutes. Like the Synod participants, we gathered in table groups – four women and four men engaging in “Conversations in the Spirit”.  The theme of the gathering was “Synodality – a Renewed Call to the Prophecy of Hope”.  

The first day was devoted to exploring the experience of those who had participated, including the challenges for consecrated life from the Synodal experience 

On the second day, we had an audience with Pope Francis and then moved into a reflection on “Prophecy of Hope”.  We were given the opportunity to share in small groups on the signs of hope that we see in our society and in the Church, naming places from our experience calling for hope today.

We listened to two presentations from current leaders and what the renewed call to the prophecy of hope meant within their reality. I found this a very moving experience. Holy Spirit Sisters leader Sr Miriam Altenhofen, and Carmelite Fr Miguel Marquez both spoke of the reality of having members living and ministering in Ukraine and how the community responded to the current conflict.  

Sr Monica Cavanagh RSJ is the Congregational Leader of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart and a former president of Catholic Religious Australia.

PHOTO: Fr Joachim Rego (Passionists), left, Fr John Larsen (Marists Fathers), Br Peter Clinch (Christian Brothers), Sr Monica Cavanagh (Josephites), Sr Margaret Anne Mills (Sisters of Compassion) and Br Mark Hilton (Brother of the Sacred Heart).


Religious leaders explore ‘the gift of hope’ together at Rome gathering (Pathways)