Governance in the Religious Life

Governance in the Religious Life


Governance: an essential learning process

Course "Governance in the Religious Life" - 8-9 November 2022


Fidelity to the charism received, and the evangelical efficacy of our congregations’ mission are two of the most significant objectives of religious leadership – a demanding but indispensable task. This course on Governance aimed to give formation to the sisters, on this so necessary and often so unknown field. 


Our congregations, institutions, and works need to be governed with responsibility, wisdom, transparency, equity, and efficiency. Therefore, we need to devise strategies appropriate to the Gospel values we profess while learning from the professional world.

We are living in a time of many challenges for all, in particular, for consecrated life. In this context, even more affected by the pandemic, we need to face the increasingly complex realities that society and history are presenting to us. We are aware that the goodwill of sisters who lead at various levels is essential, but it needs to be accompanied by adequate technical, professional, and economic tools to bring to completion the performance of leadership in communities at all levels.


Therefore, we conducted this Governance course with the support of Axis Institute of Brazil, in the person of Dr. Sebastião Venâncio de Castro, who introduced us to the concepts of Governance on the first day and how to apply them to the reality of religious congregations on the second one.


Several convictions should guide the exercise of governance leadership. Here we highlight some:

  • The protagonist role in governance should always be exercised by the leadership teams and not by other people;
  • Governance and management models need to be appropriate and adapted to the reality of each institute;
  • Although there are good governance practices, there are many gaps, especially in the area of mission;
  • Governance can also help in the vocational and general pastoral ministry of the communities and not only in the economic or resource management aspect.   


We thank Axis Institute and Dr. Sebastião Castro for their expert contribution. We promise we will continue the journey to learn new methodologies that will allow a better exercise of religious leadership. 


Sr. Paula Jordão, fmvd


Bertha María Porras

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