On the Road with Members – Regional Meetings


Throughout February AMRI hosted a series of regional meeting for Members. Sr Anne Codd and Margaret Cartwright facilitated and led these leadership conversations.

Fifty people in all attended the six meetings, representing thirty congregations/societies. A number of those who intended to join were unable to do so when the day came, and sent apologies.

It is clear that our members have extremely heavy work-loads, and that their diaries are correspondingly full, with both advance commitments and unforeseen demands. As discussed, having an AMRI calendar in place e.g. for the whole year ahead could go some way towards addressing this real issue.

Response to regional meetings: all those attending welcomed the opportunity to meet safely, share updates, experiences (challenges), learning; from AMRI’s point of view these are invaluable encounters through which to become ever better acquainted with members and their circumstances, as to consult them on matters of importance so as to enhance our service.

Among the things discussed were, Margaret Cartwright’s experience with the younger religious members in some communities.  She noted their understanding of commitment, the charism of religious life and its value to the mission of the church.   Many of them have a real understanding of Mission  and a sense of call first received at Baptism.  They have a great respect for one another no matter from what culture they come, age or background.

The challenges of religious life was also discussed.  Religious Life has much to offer but it also needs to adapt to new realities. Margaret shared a little from the recent publication “God’s Call is Everywhere” which will  be launched on the 9th March. Gods Call is Everywhere

Sr Anne Codd also helped those attending to reflect on what religious life will look like in the future?  Although we do not know the answer,   we are privileged to be a part of creating a new way of being religious in the world today. We are already witnessing new shoots of different types of communities emerging.  A good example of this is the recent development in Galway of a group of young people choosing to live in a new way as members of the 3rd order of St Francis.

Women and men are still choosing to enter religious life whether in Apostolic, missionary, cloistered, monastic, evangelical or in societies of apostolic life.   These different of styles of religious life enables diversity to be the hallmark of religious life in our world today.  Because of this diversity our Formation programs require radical transformation a move from information and induction to a real transformative experience whereby the variety of gifts brought by new members can develop and grow. “New wine requires the ability to go beyond the models we have inherited in order to appreciate the newness brought on by the Spirit” (New Wine in New Wineskins 55)

The meetings concluded  with a quote from the book God’s Call Is Everywhere. Leaving us with a hint of what the culture of vocation is about and how it is everyone’s responsibility to nourish the Call.

“God’s Call is everywhere: at all times, in all places, within forms and varieties that speak to the spiritual, social and cultural milieu of each person to whom it is addressed.  It is incumbent upon religious institutes today to engage in a mutual dialogue with enquirers and new entrants: displaying and living out the charism they inherited from their founders’ but also exploring how the spiritual hungers of new generations and new cultures are calling it to change and adaptation.   “God’s call is everywhere”  pg 210

The meetings took place in Dublin, Dundalk, Cork and Knock.