2 novembre 2012

CRI meet ends with call to be relevant

Religious must revision lifestyle, shake off inertia to shape content of mission, say superiors.

By Ivan Fernandes

Hyderabad:  Religious must revision their lifestyle, mission and formation to remain authentic to their calling and relevant to the local Church, say superiors at the end of the Conference of Religious India (CRI) national assembly.

“Our missionary thrust will be in the areas of human rights, human trafficking, and gender equity,” they said in their final statement that is still in draft stage but made available to ucanews.com.
About 550 Superiors General and provincials of various congregations ended their Oct 28-31 meeting in Hyderabad with a call to give consecrated life greater effectiveness.
Consecrated life today stands in need of a “re-visioning and re-grounding” as its fire is dying out, they said.
On their own working to sustaining this way of life, the superiors pointed to three aspects of Religious life -- mission, formation of members and life-style.
As regards to mission, Religious superiors must ensure that members move out of their “comfort zone,” shake off any “inertia” and allow the context to shape the content of mission.
“Innovation in mission is a challenge of being a disciple of Jesus creating a community of prophetic people in order to be close to the poor,” they said in their statement.
They also promised to “spot, recognize and promote the spark of innovation” in Religious life and to spare resources and personnel for an innovative ministry.
In order that this is done, they might even “dare to close down ministries that are irrelevant in the given context.”
About formation of members, formative structures of their communities should be defined by particular contexts. However, “formation in mission for the mission” must continue to be the primary process.
This can be achieved only if members seek to become disciples of Christ instead of viewing the process as formation within a profession.
The Religious superiors also said that instead of imposing restrictions on the use of media, they must educate members in the right use of media.
Lastly, Religious by their calling must simplify their lifestyle, keeping in mind their option for the poor. They must also look to “re-visioning” their lifestyle, ministry and community life in accordance with the charism of their respective congregation, the delegates said.
As leaders within the Religious group, they must counteract individualism and emphasize on communion in community life.
Additionally, their efforts must channelize resources to minister to the pastoral and institutional demands of the local Church.
Father Jyotilal, a provincial of the Indian Missionary Society who participated in the assembly, said the meeting motivated him to “bring more life into consecrated life” and gave him a “sense of urgency to achieve this as part of the Church.”
Sister Tara, another participant said she leaves with a conviction of collaboration as more and more individuality is giving way to networking. “The meeting also instilled in us to improve the quality of our spiritual life,” said the provincial of the Franciscan Servants of Mary.
Another participant who spoke on conditions of anonymity pointed out that although the final statement did not take into consideration issues such as sexual abuse and misuse of powers by ecclesiastical authorities, the major superiors are aware of these and that many had in fact discussed it in private sectional meetings within the assembly.
The CRI has a total of 334 congregations and 822 major superiors representing more than 125,000 Catholic Religious brothers, priests and nuns in India. Most of the schools, hospitals, social service centers and other institutions of the Catholic Church are managed by this group.

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