Vatican News

UISG strengthens religious life formation around the world

UISG strengthens religious life formation around the world


Article by Vatican News, Sr. Katleho Khang, SNJM


The Church and the world in the 21st century need a holistic approach to religious formation, according to the umbrella organization for Catholic women religious superiors.

This year marks 6 years of service in responding to the need to prepare religious sisters for formation ministry by the International Union of Superiors General (UISG). In an interview with Vatican News, Sister Shalini Mulackal, PBVM, coordinator of the UISG formators programme indicated that the formation programme is offered in English in the context of present-day religious life.

She said that the course is destined for sisters who will be responsible for accompanying women in the initial stages of formation. 


The programme covers different topics based on the basics of the ministry of formation, the context of consecrated life, the vows from different perspectives, interculturality and intercultural living, and ministry, creative forms and processes for deepening self-knowledge, discernment and leadership, and mission and global concerns. The formators programme seeks to enable each sister to experience an inner transformation, said Sr. Mulackal.“Whatever they learn during this time will assist them to be graced companions to those who are entrusted to their care and accompany them in their formative journey,” she said. Sr. Mulackal added that participants find the programme edifying and appreciate the group work, interaction, personal reflection, and mentoring. The programme concludes with a ceremony focused of the theme: "In Gratitude we Go Forth as Graced Companions.”


According to one participant, Sr. Beena Peter, EF, a daughter of the Church from India, women religious have found strength in each other’s experience. “Coming together as women religious in different cultures and nationalities is an opportunity that allows new connections to be made and deepened, as we aspire for communion, transformation, and the spirit of formation renewal in the 21st century” she said.

Sr. Giao-Huong Symphonie Ngo, CCVI, of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word of Houston, Texas, said the programme has enabled interdependence, interculturality, and deeper relationships with other sisters from other parts of the world.

Through various modules, Sr. Giao-Huong feels she has gained a broader understanding of a holistic religious formation with new tools and skills acquired to accompany candidates in their discernment journey.


More than 250 sisters have participated in this programme from over 50 congregations and nations since 2019.

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