UISG Bulletin 184/2024

UISG Bulletin 184/2024


Pathways of Transformation on Women’s Consecrated Life


On December 8th, 1965, the last day of the Second Vatican Council, the Council Fathers signed the decree approving the creation of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG). So, for nearly sixty years, the UISG has been uniting in dialogue and solidarity women’s congregations of diocesan and pontifical right from around the world. This makes it a privileged witness to the evolution of women’s consecrated life over the course of these years.


The Council marked a decisive turning point between the idea of consecrated life understood as a path of perfection marked by individualism and the affirmation of consecrated life understood as “spiritual capital for the whole body of Christ” (cf. LG 43). Participating in the Church’s evangelizing mission, consecrated women are called to live in close contact with the People of God, responding to the needs of humanity with their evangelical witness, their charism, their vocation to love, fruitfulness, unity, sorority...


All this has involved the profound changes that women’s consecrated life has experienced in recent years. Women religious have matured new ways of being in mission and ministry, charting new paths to identify and reach out to all the privileged recipients of the Crucified and Risen Love: the poor, migrants, women, victims of abuse, children, the elderly, the suffering…


From the Monastery to the Margins on Mission. Women Religious in an Outgoing Church.
Sr. Patricia Murray, IBVM

Pope Francis challenges us to divest ourselves of clericalism and elitism and return to the simplicity of the Gospel. This requires a cultural shift during this change of epoch. He constantly calls the church to be less self-referential, to be more outward looking, encouraging men and women, laity, religious and clerics to walk together and face the ambiguities and complexities of life. How can we respond to the challenge of being a church at the margins today? Where are the new “peripheries” and new “horizons” that need nearness and proximity? Perhaps the journey of female consecrated life since Vatican II and the emerging pathways can offer the Church a map for the way forward? It requires a constant scanning of the signs of the times, deep listening to the reality of peoples’ lives and a prayerful contemplation and discernment that can sense the invitation of the Spirit.


Spiritual Abuse in Consecrated Life

Anne Kurz, VDMF

The most important characteristic of spiritual abuse is the violation of boundaries. It violates the intimacy of the person. The person loses the space of protection that belongs to his dignity and deserves the utmost respect. It is, in short, the “space” where the most intimate and deepest aspects of the spiritual life take place. For this reason, we also speak of the “abuse of conscience.” As persons of Consecrated Life, we must recognize that this is where the divine vocation is struck to the core. Here, people are structurally forced to doubt their perception of God and led to mistrust their own experiences, longings, and prayers. Instead, they have to follow what other people tell them about “God and his will.” Thus, alienation as well as spiritual and human destruction are generated.


Invisible no more

Sr. Jean Quinn, DW

Catholic Religious Women have a significant presence in some of the world’s hotspots where gender violence is perpetrated—particularly in Latin America. But with rising rates of gender violence around the world, it is crucial that we as religious expand our footprint with lay organizations and initiatives. Catholic Social Teaching affirms that solidarity “is not a feeling of vague compassion at the misfortunes of many people both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is say to the common good of all and of each individual, because we are really responsible for all” (“Sollicitudo Rei Socialis”) (The Social Concern,” no. 38, Dec 30, 1987).


"Go from your country...”

Sr. Antonietta Papa, FMM

The migrant condition unites many people, from Abraham to today: there are people obliged to migrate because of socio-political-economic-religious situations and the climate change; there are migrants who chose to go to improve their lives, migrants who are children, alone, unaccompanied, sent to join relatives in Europe; all called to confront worlds that are different from their own, with all the difficulties that entails. I know quite well that not everyone will find here what they hope for, and I am aware of the contradictions and complexities they will face. Some will fail to integrate, some will commit crimes, but all of them, after risking their lives in various ways, are hoping for a better life, and we want them to truly have it. This is not pietism; it is belief in humanity, and we want to believe in it. That’s why we are here, and we are staying. With our tiny contribution, we try to make a difference, and we hope that, everyone in their own reality and with their own resources, will make the difference together

The Urgent, or the Essential?

Sr. Marie Laetitia Youchtchenko, OP

Yes, the mission is urgent, but our responsibility towards our foreign sisters is essential! Let us give them the opportunity for in-depth formation, let us give them the means for a fulfilling religious life. This requires time for study, sufficient sleep to allow the brain to assimilate new knowledge, personalized and attentive accompaniment... all this over a period that cannot be limited to a few months. On a broader level, it is also worth reflecting on the place we give to the study of language in our congregation’s ongoing formation.


Remembering the New Blessed Cardinal Eduardo F. Pironio

Cardinal Aquilino Bocos Merino, CMF

Synodality was in his mind, in his heart, in his word, in his feet, and in his hands. And perhaps this was his greatest contribution to the consecrated life, which he loved so much and for which he offered his life, having opened it, since the Presidency of the Council of the Laity, to the correlation and collaboration with the other members of the Church: with the Apostolic See, the Bishops, the priests, and the laity. As if by instinct, he sought harmony while working to build a better world together. In short, he wanted the Church to be the Light of the peoples and the Hope of the nations. We consecrated people will always be grateful for all he did for consecrated life. We will not forget that, during his time as Prefect of the CIVCSVA, he published, among other things, these great documents: Mutuae relationes, Religious and Human Promotion, and The Contemplative Dimension of Religious Life.


UISG Bulletin 184/2024


Michele Katherine Dvorak, PHJC

Thank you, leaders of UISG, for your continued leadership. Blessings!


Marie Pépyne Claudia Matendakama (fscm)

Auguri 60 anni 😇 , gloire à Dieu et félicitations pour l’engagement de l’UISG, depuis ces années, encore pour toutes les formations et activités réalisées et en cours d’action UISG /TK, UISG/JPIC, UISG/communication, UISG/formation permanente, UISG /santé mobile… Mercis et reconnaissance pour la participation de tous et toutes dans la vie consacrée dans la synodalité. Hommage aux pionniers et à celles et ceux qui sont nommés au St siège et aux dicastères ❤️🙏 nos proximités priantes 😇


Elizabeth Sullivan, ssj

Very informative and interesting.

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