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Thursday, 30 June 2016 21:40

Ursuline Sister Ruth Durick elected as President of Catholic Religious Australia

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Sr Ruth Durick osu 150

The current Australian Provincial of the Ursulines of the Roman Union, Ruth Durick osu, was elected as the new President of Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) at the recent CRA National Assembly held in the Blue Mountains on 21-23 June 2016.

Sister Ruth has ministered at St. Ursula’s College Toowoomba, O’Connor Catholic High School Armidale, St. Ursula’s College Kingsgrove and Domremy College Five Dock. She served as principal at Ursula College, a residential college at the Australian National University and also as Co-ordinator of the Young Catholic Women’s Interfaith Fellowship programme, a project of the Office for the Participation of Women in the Catholic Church. She has been in the Executive Committee of the Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes in NSW for three years and the CRA Council for two years.

Upon her election, Sr Ruth acknowledged the hard work of her predecessors. “I am aware of and grateful to those women and men religious who have come before me and who have served on the CRA Council,” she said. “I am also heartened by the words of Pope Francis who spoke of the distinctive sign of consecrated life being prophecy, calling us to ‘scrutinise the times’ in which we live and to interpret events. Pope Francis also called us to ‘create alternate spaces’ where the gospel can thrive.”

Sr Ruth Durick and Sr Berneice Loch sm“It is an exciting time to be a consecrated religious in the Church.”

Sr Ruth takes over the role from Mercy Sister Berneice Loch who was confident that Sr Ruth has a good understanding of the issues being addressed by CRA. “Ruth has made a valuable contribution particularly in her role as Treasurer for CRA,” said Sr Berneice. “These are not easy times for those in Church leadership at any level. CRA is indeed fortunate in having Ruth prepared to undertake its leadership for the next two years.”

“I know she will have the support of CRA Members. I also want to assure her of my support and wish her every blessing in this role.”

The three-day Assembly this year focused on aspects of today’s socio-political realities and reading scripture through an ecological lens, in line with the theme: “Creation: The Constant Outpouring of God's Love and Mercy". In-depth reflections and challenges on the theme were presented by Dr Elaine Wainwright rsm and Sr Anne Boyd csb.

The Assembly was attended by around 150 leaders and representatives of congregations and Religious Institutes from Australia and the Pacific region. The Assembly welcomed special guests, including the Apostolic Nuncio to Australia, Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, the newly installed Bishop of Parramatta, Vincent Long Van Nguyen ofm conv, the Bishop of the Diocese of Wollongong, Peter Ingham, Francis Sullivan, CEO of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council, Susan Sullivan, CEO of Catholic Health Australia and Father Maurizio Pettena, Director of the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office. Invitations to the Assembly were also extended to the representatives of Public Juridic Persons (PJPs) which have canonical and governance responsibility for many Catholic Ministries – Education, Health, Aged Care and Community services – formerly conducted by Religious Institutes.

Sr Ruth will be supported by the following members of the Council: Sr Monica Cavanagh rsj, Sr Megan Brock rsj, David Hawke fsc, Fr Tom McDonough cp and Sr Clare Nolan rsc. State Representatives on the Council are Sr Catherine Reuter rsm (Queensland), Sr Stancea Vichie mss (Victoria), Sr Noreen Reynolds op (South Australia) and Sr Marie Therese Ryder rndm (Western Australia). The CRA Council is supported by its Secretariat: Sr Rosemary Grundy pbvm (Executive Director) and Ms Becci Swan (Secretary/Administrator).

(Photo, right: Sr Ruth on the left pictured with Sr Berneice at the 2016 CRA National Assembly.)

For inquiries:
Giselle Lapitan
Mobile 0434 409 333 | Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.