God's Call Is Everywhere

God's Call Is Everywhere


Over 250 leaders and vocational pastoral directors joined, both in person and online, the workshop “God’s Call Is Everywhere: Listening and Responding in Today’s World” organized by the UISG on March 11, 2024.

The event was built around the newly published book “God’s Call Is Everywhere. A Global Analysis of Contemporary Religious Vocations for Women” - the first comparative analysis of research in six countries investigating women who have entered vowed religious life in Catholicism in the twenty-first century. The data include survey responses from institute leaders, formation directors, and the women themselves, conducted in the United States, Canada, Australia, and France, along with focus groups and interviews in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and France. As highlighted by one of the authors of the book, Sr. Gemma Simmonds, CJ, the publication is a very useful tool particularly for the sisters in leadership and formation positions, to deepen reflection on how to foster and nurture new vocations.


Sr. Patricia Murray, ibvm, the Executive Secretary of the UISG and Sr. Nathalie Becquart, xmcj, the Under-Secretary for the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, offered words of welcome and opening remarks. Sr. Nathalie brought our attention to the fact that the ongoing synodal process helps religious people around the world to deepen the vocational journey.

“Today begins truly a global conversation, that there is, in our belief, an action of God on every continent, calling us everywhere.” - said Sr. Mary Johnson, Superior General of Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, who talked about how to use the book. She underlined that sometimes we are so focused on individuals and we forget that the culture that the individual came from also requires more theological reflection and social analysis – which the book provides.

Later on, Mary L. Gautier, retired senior research associate at CARA, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University,  the quantitative data included in the book, helping to notice the commonalities between the religious vocations: what attracted people to religious life, to their particular institute, which life experiences they had before joining religious life. Her presentation was complimented by sr. Bibiana Ngundo, Luis F. F. Fernando Falco and sr. Metti Amirtham, who led a segment “Experiences from the Global South” and presented the survey results conducted in countries in Africa, South America and Asia, giving participants a wide perspective on the hopes and concerns of those discerning a vocation to religious life across the globe.


During the afternoon sessions, sr. Patricia Wittberg, sc and sr. Gemma Simmonds, cj deepened the question of differences present across diverse cultures, what challenges emerge from them, as well as what learnings can be gained by addressing those challenges.

The event concluded with group discussions, both in person and online. The participants had an opportunity to discuss the presentations and to reflect on what they learned that can be used in their institute’s vocation/formation ministry or the leadership team.

The book “God’s Call Is Everywhere. A Global Analysis of Contemporary Religious Vocations for Women” can be purchased at the UISG Headquarters (Piazza di Ponte Sant’Angelo 28, Rome) for a 20 euros donation or online, following this link.

•    Photo gallery of the event
•    Watch the video recording of the workshop:

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