RELIGIOUS LIFE AT A CRITICAL PHASE
DISCERNMENT AND ACCOMPANIMENT – GATHERING IN ROME
Representatives of conferences of religious gather in Rome at a meeting with Dicastery
Abbot Brendan Coffey OSB, AMRI President and David Rose, Secretary General, represented AMRI at a 2-day meeting with the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life in Rome attended by representatives from the conferences of religious in Europe, USA and Australia. The theme of the meeting was Religious Life in a Critical Phase – discernment and accompaniment. Participants discussed a range of challenges and opportunities facing religious life including formation, collaboration with laypeople, the service conferences of religious provide to their members and how to improve collaboration with bishops. Of particular concern was the sustainability of some institutes, how to downsize and right size ministries and resources?
There was recognition of the charisms of institutes as gifts of the Spirit to the Church and the world and that charisms are not owned by the institutes or congregations but extend and expand beyond the institutes. There was recognition of the need to put in place structures to manage governance, finances and healthcare as institutes age and are challenged to find members for leadership. The meeting was conducted very much in a spirit of synodality and discernment, with sharing of experience and networking.