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Global women religious pledged to 'new paths of light in the darkness'

 |  NCR Today

Some 800 international women religious superior generals met in Rome May 7-11 under the auspices of the International Union of General Superiors (UISG) to ponder the twin themes of mysticism and prophecy. During the meeting they collaborated to write a draft of a brief conference declaration. Some conference delegates stayed on following the assembly. Among their post-conference work was the completing of the conference statement, which they released today.

The statement aims to express the spirit, intent and direction of the organization for the next three years through a series of public commitments.

The statement reads:

“I know the fountain well that flows and runs… though it is night”
(St John of the Cross)

THE FUTURE OF RELIGIOUS LIFE IS IN ITS MYSTICAL AND PROPHETIC FORCE

“My soul is thirsting for God, the living God” Ps 42, 3

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During this Assembly:

We, 800 superiors general coming from 87 countries, have quenched our thirst together at the Fountain of life, the God of Jesus Christ, source of our joy, our hope and our strength.

We commit ourselves to:


  • Rediscover anew and listen to the Fountain which speaks in our hearts, through others and through creation.

  • Draw water from the Source of our charism and rediscover the dynamism of our first call.

  • Taste and share together the Word and the Bread.

  • Promote a constant dialogue between the Word of God and the events which happen in our world.

  • Invite others to come and drink at the Fountain.
  • “If you consider me a believer… come and dwell in my house” Acts 16, 15

    Like Lydia, a listening and faith filled woman, we are invited to open our hearts and our homes and to remember the living waters of our baptism.

    We commit ourselves to:


    • Create a new style of mystical and prophetic life, open and hospitable, inclusive, respectful of differences and acknowledging the richness of other cultures and religions.

    • Recreate the art of living in common, marked by deep human relationships, a listening heart, empathy and non-violence in order to be witnesses of Gospel values.

    • Focus on initial and on-going formation in order to unify the mystical and prophetic dimensions of our consecrated life.

    • Live in harmony with the whole Cosmos and to dwell respectfully on this Earth.

    “Put out into the deep… and cast your nets…” Luke 5,4

    We have become aware that we should not fear the night of the deep waters.

    We commit ourselves to:


    • Courageously identify the “nights” of the Church, of society and of our congregations.

    • Discover the sparks of light hidden in the heart of violence, poverty and the lack of meaning.

    • To open our eyes to discover new paths of light in the darkness of our world: in the precarious situation of women, the existential restlessness of the youth, the consequences of war and natural catastrophes and the extreme poverty which leads to violence.

    • Offer as consecrated women a ministry of compassion and healing.

    • Build inter-congregational networks at local and international levels, involving the laity in order to initiate different projects and to work for the transformation of unjust structures.

    • Go beyond the frontiers of our respective charisms and to unite ourselves in order to offer a mystical and prophetic word to our world.

    • Engage in truthful dialogue with the hierarchical Church at all levels in order to achieve a greater recognition of the role of women.
    • As Mary, let us remain awake and vigilant,
      constantly searching for the Fountain that flows,
      certain that It will be found, although it is night.

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