[Sisters of the world arise, you have nothing to lose but your walkers!]
“And leave the driving to us!”
From Catholic World News:
870 superiors of women’s religious institutes have gathered for the triennial assembly of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG). The five-day assembly, which has attracted participants from 80 nations, is taking place at a Roman hotel [not a convent or retreat house near the Vatican].
Ergife Palace [4-star] Hotel
Set a 6-minute walk from Aurelia-Da Rosate bus stop, this industrial and modern mix, business hotel is also 2 1/2 miles from the artwork at St. Peter’s Basilica and 3 miles from the famous fresco ceilings at Sistine Chapel.
The warm, modern guest rooms [single $168 and up; double $210 and up] come with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and desks. Room service is available on request.
Free breakfast buffet is served in-room or in a contemporary restaurant that also serves international cuisine. Other amenities include a sleek bar, an upscale lobby with a glass pyramid ceiling and a lounge room. There’s also a pool, a fitness center and a business center composed of 35 conference rooms.
May 11, 2016: Leaders of women’s religious communities discuss global solidarity
The theme of the five-day assembly, which has attracted participants from 80 nations, is “weaving global solidarity for life.”
“In his Encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis invites us to a solidarity in favor of the future of our planet and of all peoples, a solidarity from the heart, which shows itself in our actions,” Sister Carmen Sammut, the UISG’s president, said in her opening address.
She continued, “Weaving global solidarity for life: ‘that they may have life and have it to the full.’ This is why we have given our lives as followers of Jesus. That God’s Kingdom may be an everyday reality.”
On May 10, the superiors general heard talks from Sister Carol Zinn and Sister Mary Sujita.
Sister Zinn, the president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the United States, addressed three themes: “the power of worldview and the conversion of mindset needed”; “the mutuality of relationships and the conversion of heart needed”; and “the witnessing of earth, fire, air, water and spirit and the conversion of will needed.”
Sister Sujita, who leads the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame in India, spoke about “solidarity for life on the periphery.” She stated:
The climate we are experiencing among us as women religious and in the Church in general is something like going back to our roots … How we choose to respond to this moment will decide the future of ministerial religious life. What is “the more” and “the different” that I am willing to risk in my prophetic mission today to ensure that evils like human trafficking, sex tourism, abuse of children and women, and destruction of the environment will have no place in our world?
May 12, 2016: Leaders of women’s religious communities reflect on ‘sunset of a model,’ ‘global sisterhood’
870 superiors of women’s religious institutes heard talks on mysticism and global sisterhood at the triennial assembly of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG).
Sister Márian Ambrosio, who has served as president of the National Conference of Religious Men and Women of Brazil, called upon women religious to “learn to be mystical persons” rather than “machines” and to emphasize “radical discipleship.”
When we dialogue with them [young people] about the charism, do we reveal the mysticism that marks our fundamental identity or do we parade past them the quantity of our places, houses, activities we have around the world? Are we encouraging the young people to follow Jesus with us, or are we handing out vocational materials with photos and images we idealized about ourselves? …
We are living the sunset of a model that no longer finds expression today. Why should a young woman become a religious to accomplish a task that can be carried out perfectly well as a laywoman? In western countries where most of us live, many women religious occupy a place as temporary substitute, carrying out all very good activities, but ones that keep us far from the testimonial radiating that our charism asks of us. Yes, today we are still acting as substitutes for the clergy, and as substitutes of the civil state. And this attitude is not captivating!
On the evening of May 11, Sister Rosemarie Nassif of the Conrad Hilton Foundation-funded [and National un-Catholic Reporter-based] Catholic Sisters Initiative spoke about an “emerging global sisterhood” characterized by collaboration, communication, and communion.
Calling for “no poverty, gender equality, climate action, peace and justice,” Sister Nassif emphasized the importance of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs) in addressing humanitarian needs.
“In assuring the success of the SDGs and the generation of mercy across our world, we need a powerful and influential global sisterhood magnifying the impact of our efforts, influencing not only the works of mercy, but the decisions, the policies, the distribution of aid, the local, national and international governments, other religions in ways that everyone feel[s] loved, sought after and forgiven,” she said.