World Day of Prayer for Vocations – April 21

Sunday, April 21, formerly called Good Shepherd Sunday, gives us an opportunity to reflect on God’s call to each of us.  Pope Francis’ message for this special day has as its theme Called to Sow Seeds of Hope and to Build Peace.  

In a world experiencing tremendous challenges – “a third world war fought piecemeal; the flood of migrants…; the burgeoning numbers of the poor; the threat of irreversibly compromising the health of our planet. To say nothing of all the difficulties we encounter each day, which at times risk plunging us into resignation or defeatism”, Pope Francis calls all of us “to embody and communicate the Gospel message of hope”.

Pope Francis concludes his message by calling the Christian community to “rise up…and set out as pilgrims of hope… messengers of joy, sources of new life and artisans of fraternity and peace”.

The complete message can be read here

El domingo 21 de abril, antiguamente llamado Domingo del Buen Pastor, nos brinda la oportunidad de reflexionar sobre la llamada de Dios a cada uno de nosotros. El mensaje del Papa Francisco para este día especial tiene como tema Llamados a sembrar semillas de esperanza y a construir la paz.

En un mundo que experimenta tremendos desafíos – “una tercera guerra mundial combatida poco a poco; la avalancha de emigrantes…; el creciente número de pobres; la amenaza de comprometer irreversiblemente la salud de nuestro planeta. Por no hablar de todas las dificultades que encontramos cada día, que a veces corren el riesgo de sumirnos en la resignación o el derrotismo”, el Papa Francisco nos llama a todos “a encarnar y comunicar el mensaje evangélico de esperanza”.

El Papa Francisco concluye su mensaje llamando a la comunidad cristiana a “levantarse… y ponerse en camino como peregrinos de esperanza… mensajeros de alegría, fuentes de vida nueva y artífices de fraternidad y de paz”.

El mensaje completo puede leerse aquí

 

Global Gathering of Women

In March the annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women met in New York to advocate for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. This article in Global Sisters Report will give  a sense of the proceedings of those two weeks of sessions

It is noteworthy that Pope Francis’ prayer intention for April is that the dignity and worth of women be recognized throughout the world. He pointed our that “in theory all agree that men and women have the same dignity as persons, but this does not play out in practice.”

Let us pray that the dignity and worth of women be recognized in every culture, and for an end to the discrimination they face in various parts of the world.

En marzo sereunió en Nueva York laComisión de la Condición Jurídica y Social de la Mujer de las Naciones Unidaspara defender la igualdad de género y la autonomía de las mujeres y las niñas. Este artículo de Global Sisters Report dará una idea de los trabajos de esas dos semanas de sesiones

Cabe destacar que la intención de oración del Papa Francisco para el mes de abril es que se reconozca la dignidad y el valor de la mujer en todo el mundo. Señaló que “en teoría todos están de acuerdo en que hombres y mujeres tienen la misma dignidad como personas, pero esto no se cumple en la práctica”.

Recemos para que la dignidad y el valor de las mujeres sean reconocidos en todas las culturas, y para que se ponga fin a la discriminación que sufren en diversas partes del mundo.

 

Synod on Synodality Updates

May 10

Speaking to members of the Italian Catholic Action lay association in St. Peter’s Square on April 25, Pope Francis urged lay Catholics to prepare for the “prophetic” stage of the Synod. Read more here


May 3

Anna Rowlands, a professor of Catholic social thought and practice from Durham University in Cambridge and a key Synod advisor, writes a theological reflection on Synodality. The attached article may give you a sense of her thinking.


April 26

Two articles related to the Synod that might be of interest to you:


April 19

Many religious congregations are struggling with interculturality and its impact on all aspects of their life.

In our own congregation our four Peruvian- born sisters all come from different cultures.  In the past couple of years, they have been studying interculturality and its impact on their personal and community lives. As we look around us today, we can see how intercultural we are becoming as a church and as a society. This  article shows that the key themes of the synod –  communion, participation and mission – are very much tied to a deeper understanding and experience of interculturality


April 12

Father Thomas Reese, SJ, former editor of America magazine, wrote an article in late March on Pope Francis’ insistence that the main focus of this Synod is synodality, rather than specific controversial issues.
Access the article here


April 5

From April 28 to May 2, 2024 parish priests, selected by Bishops’ Conferences and Oriental Catholic Churches from around the world, will meet in Rome.
The intent of the meeting is to listen to parish priests, to underline the value of their experience in their local churches and to provide an opportunity for them to experience synodality at a universal level. Participants in this international meeting were chosen from a variety of pastoral contexts, largely because of significant parish involvement in the perspective of a synodal Church.


March 22

Pope Francis has announced that the October 2024 assembly of the Synod will focus on “How to be a Synodal Church in mission.

The pope has also set up ten study groups to examine ten topics that were prominent during the October 2023 session of the Synod. The work of these groups is not expected to be completed until mid- 2025, but there will be a report given at the October 2024 session on their progress to date. This article will give you a sense of the areas being studied by these groups.

El papa Francisco ha anunciado que la asamblea del Sínodo de octubre de 2024 se centrará en “Cómo ser una Iglesia sinodal en misión.”

El Papa también ha creado diez grupos de estudio para examinar diez temas que ocuparon un lugar destacado durante la sesión del Sínodo de octubre de 2023. Se espera que el trabajo de estos grupos no concluya hasta mediados de 2025, pero en la sesión de octubre de 2024 se presentará un informe sobre los progresos realizados hasta la fecha.


March 15

The synthesis report from the October 2023 session of the Synod stated that “a profound conversion is needed to meet the desire to promote a Church in which men and women dialogue together … without subordination, exclusion and competition.” 

In an article in Global Sisters Report of February 26, 2024, five panelists speak of the need for this spiritual conversion.

Read the article here


March 8

On February 17 2024 the Vatican announced that Pope Francis has launched synodal study groups to analyzekey issues in preparation for the October 2024 session of the Synod.
The synthesis report from the October 2023 session listed 75 different matters which were not able to be addressed at that time. Among these were priestly celibacy and women’s access to the diaconate. The General Secretariat of the Synod will coordinate the work of these study groups and experts from around the world will be involved.

Six new consultors to the General Secretariat have also been appointed, three of whom are female professors:

  • Dr. Tricia Bruce, a sociology professor at Maryville College in Tennessee, USA
  • Dr. Maria Clare Lucchetti Bingemer, a theology professor at the Pontifical Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro
  • Dr. Birgit Weiler, a Medical Missionary Sister and theology professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru

El 17 de febrero de 2024, el Vaticano anunció que el Papa Francisco ha puesto en marcha grupos de estudio sinodales para analizar cuestiones clave en preparación de la sesión del Sínodo de octubre de 2024.
El informe de síntesis de la sesión de octubre de 2023 enumeraba 75 asuntos diferentes que no pudieron abordarse entonces. Entre ellos figuraban el celibato sacerdotal y el acceso de las mujeres al diaconado. La Secretaría General del Sínodo coordinará los trabajos de estos grupos de estudio y en ellos participarán expertos de todo el mundo.

También se han nombrado seis nuevos consultores de la Secretaría General, tres de los cuales son profesoras:

Dra. Tricia Bruce, profesora de sociología en el Maryville College de Tennessee, EE.UU.
Dra. Maria Clare Lucchetti Bingemer, profesora de teología en la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Río de Janeiro
Dra. Birgit Weiler, Hermana Médico Misionera y profesora de teología en la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Perú


March 1

This link will bring you to an article from inside the Vatican’s Synod office, featuring Sister Nathalie Becquart, undersecretary of the Synod, published in February in Global Sisters Report.   


February 23

Australasian Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (ACCCR), established in 2012, is a network of nineteen diverse groups in Australia and New Zealand, united under the call for renewal in the Church. Its stated role is to foster collaboration and support among member groups and to disseminate messages of hope and opportunity. These groups have been meeting over many issues in the Church, and since Pope Francis’ call of the Synod, they have made this a particular focus for their work.

The Introduction to ACCCR’s submission to the Synod in August of 2022 states: The coalition is guided by Vatican 11 and the leadership of Pope Francis, with a strong commitment to co-responsibility for the Church’s mission among all Catholics.


February 16

The following is a segment of a lengthy article by James Hanvery, SJ, exploring Pope Francis’ theology:

It is clear that so much of the papacy of Francis has been about opening up spaces of dialogue with the world and with other religions. Indeed, part of the whole process of synodality has been opening up spaces within the Church as well. Dialogue is not only the necessary prerequisite for understanding, but it is also integral to reconciliation. It is notable, that not only has Pope Francis carried on the facilitation of dialogue between religions and between nations, especially where there is tension and conflict but he has expanded and encouraged dialogue within  the Church.

El siguiente es un segmento de un extenso artículo de James Hanvery, SJ, que explora la teología del Papa Francisco:

Está claro que gran parte del papado de Francisco ha consistido en abrir espacios de diálogo con el mundo y con otras religiones. De hecho, parte de todo el proceso sinodal ha consistido en abrir espacios también dentro de la Iglesia. El diálogo no sólo es el requisito previo necesario para el entendimiento, sino que también forma parte integrante de la reconciliación. Es notable que el Papa Francisco no sólo haya facilitado el diálogo entre religiones y entre naciones, especialmente allí donde hay tensiones y conflictos, sino que haya ampliado y fomentado el diálogo dentro de la Iglesia.


February 9

From April 28 to May 2 there will be a listening session for parish priests in Rome. The 300 priests who will attend will be chosen by their local Bishop’s conferences. This is another step in preparation for the October 2024 session of the Synod. This item from NCR gives more information:


February 2

The January 26 issue of the Synodal Times had the following item – an interview with Sister Mary T. Barron, President of UISG. The interview focused on the joint meeting organized in Rome by the Executive Councils of UISG and USG in late November 2023. Read the interview here


January 26

Read this article by Kimberley Hetherington in Global Sisters Report , November 9, 2023, where religious share how synodality shapes their decisions, their way of life and how their experience can help the wider church.


January 19

Read this item dated December 13 on the Synod on Synodality is taken from The Synodal Times. 


January 12

The following articles may be helpful for better understanding and fuller absorption of some of the insights from the October 2023 session of the Synod.

Religious share how synodality shapes their decisions, common life — and can help the wider church

Synod small-table discussions put all on equal footing, UISG members say


December 22, 2023

This press release, dated December 13 giving guidelines for preparing for the October 2024 session of the Synod on Synodality. The actual document can be read here

Este comunicado de prensa, fechado el 13 de diciembre, ofrece orientaciones para preparar la sesión de octubre de 2024 del Sínodo sobre la Sinodalidad. El documento propiamente dicho puede leerse aquí


December 15

The presence of 54 women at the Synod in October was not only historic; it also brought about a new energy for lifting up women and other excluded populations in our Church.

There were proposals in the Synod synthesis to advance women’s role and ministry in the Church, but the energy and hunger for women’s leadership, ministry and decision-making authority that was so evident in the preparatory documentation seems to have been muted. A new sign of hope came when Pope Francis met recently with his Council of Cardinals.  For further information, click on the following links:

Last week a webinar – the first of two sessions – featuring the UISG delegates at the October session of the Synod sharing their synodal experiences was held.


December 8

Cardinal Robert McElroy address to the Religious Formation Conference in Chicago in November on the Synod can be accessed here.


December 1

The following articles from The National Catholic Reporter may be helpful in our further reflection on the October 2023 session of the Synod on Synodality and its synthesis document:

Thomas Reese, a Jesuit and former editor of America magazine, 15 hidden gems in the synod on synodality report

Phyllis Zagano, a Catholic lay theologian,‘Excuse me, Your Eminence, she has not finished speaking’


November 24

View the multimedia version of the Letter from the October session of the Synod to the People of God


November 17

While Phase One of the Synod is over, we need to keep in mind Pope Francis’ call to the whole Church to continue on the synodal journey through prayer, listening to the Spirit and one another and consciously walking together as God’s family, missionary disciples on a shared journey. The Synod’s letter to the Church states that “the months leading up to the second session in October 2024 will allow everyone to concretely participate in the dynamism of missionary community indicated by the word Synod.” The following statement from the letter puts forward the hope and belief of the Synod: “It is precisely the path of synodality which God expects of the Church of the third millennium.”

Video “Tribute to the Women of the Synod”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAfoJENIM-8

To get another look at sisters’ experience of the Synod click on the following:

https://www.globalsistersreport.org/news/how-has-synodal-process-affected-catholic-sisters


November 10

The following links may be of interest as we look back on the October session of the Synod on Synodality and come to a clearer understanding of the synodal process:

https://www.globalsistersreport.org/news/process-key-sisters-respond-2023-synods-synthesis-document

“Tribute to the Women of the Synod” video with quotes and music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAfoJENIM-8


 

Towards the 2024 Assembly: Guidelines for preparing for the October 2024 Session of the Synod

On December 5 2023,  guidelines for preparing for the October 2024 session of the Synod on Synodality were released.

When approving these work guidelines, Pope Francis said, “the Synod is about synodality and not about this or that theme… The important thing is how the reflection is done, that is, in a synodal way”.

The Document can be downloaded here

The Worksheet can be downloaded here

The Roadmap can be downloaded here

El 5 de diciembre de 2023, se publicaron las directrices para preparar la sesión de octubre de 2024 del Sínodo sobre la Sinodalidad.

Al aprobar estas pautas de trabajo, el Papa Francisco dijo: “el Sínodo es sobre la sinodalidad y no sobre tal o cual tema…. Lo importante es cómo se hace la reflexión, es decir, de manera sinodal”.

El Documento puede descargarse aquí

La ficha de trabajo puede descargarse aquí

La hoja de ruta puede descargarse aquí

Synod Letter to the People of God Multimedia Version

While Phase One of the Synod is over, we need to keep in mind Pope Francis’ call to the whole Church to continue on the synodal journey through prayer, listening to the Spirit and one another and consciously walking together as God’s family, missionary disciples on a shared journey states that “the months leading up to the second session in October 2024 will allow everyone to concretely participate in the dynamism of missionary community indicated by the word Synod.”

The following statement from the letter puts forward the hope and belief of the Synod: “It is precisely the path of synodality which God expects of the Church of the third millennium.”

This multimedia version (below) of the Letter to the People of God from the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops has now been released to complement the Synod participants’ text.

Si bien la primera fase del Sínodo ha terminado, debemos tener presente el llamamiento del Papa Francisco a toda la Iglesia para que continúe el camino sinodal mediante la oración, la escucha del Espíritu y de los demás y el caminar juntos conscientemente como familia de Dios, discípulos misioneros en un camino compartido afirma que “los meses que precederán a la segunda sesión de octubre de 2024 permitirán a todos participar concretamente en el dinamismo de comunidad misionera indicado por la palabra Sínodo”.

La siguiente declaración de la carta expone la esperanza y la convicción del Sínodo: “Es precisamente el camino de la sinodalidad lo que Dios espera de la Iglesia del tercer milenio”.

Como complemento del texto de los participantes en el Sínodo, se ha publicado una versión multimedia de la Carta al Pueblo de Dios de la XVI Asamblea General Ordinaria del Sínodo de los Obispos.

Join Us in Prayer for the Synod on Synodality

As we move through this month, let us hold in prayer all who are participating in the Synod in Rome. This is a unique and special moment in the history and life of our Church and there are many different hopes, fears and expectations for its outcome.

Sr Elizabeth Davis (L) at her round table working group at the Opening of the Synod, 4 October 2023. (NL MercyScreenshot/YouTube/Vatican)

It is crucial that we pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit upon each Synod participant and upon the body as a whole. As Pope Francis reminded us “Without prayer, there will be no synod.”

Post your prayer here

A lo largo de este mes, acojamos en la oración a todos los que participan en el Sínodo de Roma. Se trata de un momento único y especial en la historia y en la vida de nuestra Iglesia, y hay muchas esperanzas, temores y expectativas sobre su resultado.

Es crucial que recemos por la guía del Espíritu Santo sobre cada participante en el Sínodo y sobre el cuerpo en su conjunto. Como nos recordó el Papa Francisco “Sin oración, no habrá sínodo”.

Publica tu oración aquí

“Laudate Deum”: Pope Francis’ Message on the Climate Crisis

The Season of Creation has ended but the need for prayer, reflection and practical action on the environment continues.

In Laudate Deum, released today “to all people of good will”, Pope Francis shares his heartfelt concerns about the care needed for our common home. In the eight years since the publication of Laudato Si’ in 2015, the Pope says, “I have realized that our responses have not been adequate, while the world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point.” He continues, “the impact of climate change will increasingly prejudice the lives and families of many persons. We will feel its effects in the areas of healthcare, sources of employment, access to resources, housing, forced migrations, etc.”

In six chapters and 73 paragraphs the Pope points to the signs and human causes of climate change (ch. 1), stresses nature is a gift, not  to be exploited (ch. 2), adresses the weaknesses of international politics (ch. 3),describes the various climate conferences held to date (ch. 4) looks ahead to COP28  in November 2023 (ch. 5) and, reminding  his readers that the motivations for this commitment flow from the Christian faith, encourages  all faith groups to “accompany this pilgrimage of reconciliation with the world that is our home and to help make it more beautiful, because that commitment has to do with our personal dignity and highest values. At the same time, I cannot deny that it is necessary to be honest and recognize that the most effective solutions will not come from individual efforts alone, but above all from major political decisions on the national and international level”. (ch.6)

Watch: the video introduction to Laudate Deum



Read: Laudate Deum online or download a PDF copy

View the pictorial representation

Download: the complete set of Season of Creation Prayers produced by our Congregation

El Tiempo de la Creación ha terminado, pero la necesidad de oración, reflexión y acción práctica sobre el medio ambiente continúa.

En Laudato Deum, publicado hoy “a todos los hombres de buena voluntad”, el Papa Francisco comparte su sincera preocupación por el cuidado necesario de nuestra casa común. En los ocho años transcurridos desde la publicación de Laudato Si’ en 2015, dice el Papa, “me he dado cuenta de que nuestras respuestas no han sido adecuadas, mientras que el mundo en el que vivimos se derrumba y puede estar cerca del punto de ruptura.” Y continúa: “el impacto del cambio climático perjudicará cada vez más la vida y la familia de muchas personas. Sentiremos sus efectos en los ámbitos de la asistencia sanitaria, las fuentes de empleo, el acceso a los recursos, la vivienda, las migraciones forzosas, etc.”

En seis capítulos y 73 párrafos, el Papa señala los signos y las causas humanas del cambio climático (cap. 1), subraya que la naturaleza es un don que no debe ser explotado (cap. 2), aborda las debilidades de la política internacional (cap. 3), describe las diversas conferencias sobre el clima celebradas hasta la fecha (cap. 4), mira hacia la COP28 de noviembre de 2023 (cap. 5) y, recordando a sus lectores que las motivaciones de este compromiso emanan de la fe cristiana, anima a todos los grupos religiosos a “acompañar esta peregrinación de reconciliación con el mundo que es nuestra casa y ayudar a hacerlo más hermoso”. 5) y, recordando a sus lectores que las motivaciones de este compromiso emanan de la fe cristiana, anima a todos los grupos confesionales a “acompañar esta peregrinación de reconciliación con el mundo que es nuestra casa y contribuir a hacerlo más bello, porque ese compromiso tiene que ver con nuestra dignidad personal y nuestros valores más elevados”. Al mismo tiempo, no puedo negar que es necesario ser honestos y reconocer que las soluciones más eficaces no vendrán sólo de los esfuerzos individuales, sino sobre todo de las grandes decisiones políticas a nivel nacional e internacional”. (cap.6)

VEA: el vídeo de introducción a Laudate Deum

LEER: Laudato Deum en línea o descargue una copia en PDF

VER: la representación pictórica

DESCARGAR: el conjunto completo de oraciones del Tiempo de la Creación elaboradas por nuestra Congregación

Watch Launch of “Laudate Deum” on 4 October

On 4 October, the feast day of St Francis and conclusion of the Season of Creation, Pope Francis will release Laudate Deum meaning “Praise God”, an ecology document intended to follow up on his 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si’, On Care for Our Common Home.

Laudate Deum is an apostolic exhortation. As the category suggests, these are papal addresses urging consideration of a particular spiritual matter or activity, in this case the climate crisis. In the 8 years since Laudato Si’ was published, climate change has accelerated, evident in  record temperatures, Arctic-Antarctic meltdown, extreme droughts, storms, wildfires, loss of life and damage.

The launch of Laudate Deum will be live-streamed from Rome at 3:30pm Newfoundland time on 4 October.

Watch it here or view the recording later.

 

Join with us in Following the Events of the Synod

Throughout October,  delegates representing bishops, priests, religious and lay people from around the world are meeting in Rome to discuss issues of vital importance to the Catholic Church.

Sr Elizabeth Davis is among the delegates. We have previously shared news of Elizabeth’s appointment representing  UISG and that of another Mercy sister, Sr Angela Mary Perez who is from Guam and is representing Oceania.

The topics for discussion include women deacons, priestly celibacy and LGBTQ outreach, which surfaced as priorities during the listening sessions held in preparation for the Assembly.

An ecumenical prayer service to entrust the work of the October session of the Synod to God took place in St. Peter’s Square on September 30. At the invitation of Pope Francis, Father Timothy Radcliffe op is leading a three-day retreat for all participants from 1-3 October. Sessions commence on 4 October, the feast day of St Francis and which marks the conclusion of the Season of Creation.

We invite you to join us in keeping all delegates in prayer and to following the events of the Synod on Vatican Media and Vatican YouTube

Post your prayer here

Durante todo el mes de octubre, delegados de obispos, sacerdotes, religiosos y laicos de todo el mundo se reúnen en Roma para debatir cuestiones de vital importancia para la Iglesia católica.

La Hna. Elizabeth Davis se encuentra entre los delegados. Anteriormente hemos compartido la noticia del nombramiento de Elizabeth en representación de la UISG y el de otra hermana de la Misericordia, la Hna. Ángela María Pérez, que es de Guam y representa a Oceanía.

Los temas de debate incluyen las mujeres diáconos, el celibato sacerdotal y el alcance LGBTQ, que surgieron como prioridades durante las sesiones de escucha celebradas en preparación de la Asamblea.

El 30 de septiembre tuvo lugar en la Plaza de San Pedro un servicio ecuménico de oración para confiar a Dios el trabajo de la sesión de octubre del Sínodo. Por invitación del Papa Francisco, el padre Timothy Radcliffe OP dirige un retiro de tres días para todos los participantes, del 1 al 3 de octubre. Las sesiones comienzan el 4 de octubre, fiesta de San Francisco y que marca la conclusión del Tiempo de la Creación.

Le invitamos a unirse a nosotros en la oración por todos los delegados y a seguir los acontecimientos del Sínodo en Vatican Media y Vatican YouTube.

Envíe su oración aquí