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Sunday, 08 February 2015 16:26

Fostering the diversity and richness of religious life

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Sr Berneice Loch rsm150 2015Each congregation has its own particular blessing and gift to the Church; each of us needs to take up the work of putting our story out there to communicate the special gifts of being a Religious, writes CRA President Sister Berneice Loch rsm.

The New Year heralds several changes at Catholic Religious Australia as you will read elsewhere in this edition of Pathways. I know you will welcome Rosemary and Becci as they work with us and support us.

The Year of Consecrated Life is an invitation to each Religious Woman and Man to make 2015 a special time of refocussing our commitment as Religious.

It seems to me appropriate that we place strong emphasis on how to communicate to others in and beyond our Church what we understand as the special gifts of being a Religious. While there might be some broad areas in which this can be addressed by CRA as speaking for Religious in general, we are essentially a very diverse group and to generalise too much is to run the risk of obscuring the wonder and scope of the many different types of Religious Life among us. I am thinking of the publication put together by Catholic Religious Australia (Qld) – a DVD drawing on a wealth of religious life traditions. Each congregation has its own particular blessing and gift to the Church and each of our groups needs to take up the work of putting our story out there.

Please be mindful of the CRA website and the space created there in which to foster the sharing of gifts, articles and stories as the various groups reflect on their own particular gift or scholars and other gifted writers reflect on the overall phenomenon of Religious Life as it has been lived throughout the history of the Church. You might have a personal contribution to bring to the site and it might provide you with one means of telling the story of your own group.

The CRA Council will meet for the first time this year on Monday 9th February. Plans are already well in hand for the CRA Annual Assembly which will this year be held in Brisbane. Please consider including this on your calendar if you have not already done so. This year there will a special session prior to the Assembly focussed on the formation responsibilities of the Congregations. It is time to review what assistance can be provided to Congregations through joint formation activities conducted under the umbrella of CRA.

I hope your year is commencing well. May we be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit at all times but especially in this Year of Consecrated Life.

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