2021 General Assembly
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Plenary #1 (January 15, 2021)
Reflection on the historical dimension of the CRC
by Anne-Marie Savoie, RHSJ
Reflection on the prophetic dimension of the CRC
by Joyce Murray, CSJ, and Alain Rodrigue, CMM
Reflection on the spiritual dimension of the CRC
by Margo Ritchie, CSJ
Training session for the animation
of spiritual conversation in sub-groups
Online Spiritual Conversation (video below)
In the context of COVID-19, the 2021 General Assembly of the Canadian Religious Conference will take place for the first time in a virtual format on May 27-28, 2021. In order to do so, a process adapted to the exceptional health situation has been proposed to the CRC members and will take place over several months from January to May 2021. Monthly meetings (plenary sessions and and subgroups discussion) will take place from January to April 2021. The days in May will be the high points of this process.
The chosen theme is:
“A Present Hope: Reading the Signs of the Times”
The keynote speaker will be Father Ronald Rolheiser, OMI. Fr. Rolheiser will invite CRC members to recognise the signs of hope in religious life, in the present. In Canada, in 2021, what could or should be done to sustain hope in religious congregations? Fr. Rolheiser’s talks will help them see the real portrait of religious life, in Canada, and highlight the challenges which must be overcome.
- Rapidly evolving situation of religious communities in Canada and in the world
- New CRC leadership and staff
- Regional consultations
- COVID-19 pandemic
- Reading the signs of the times —> Revisiting CRC’s spiritual roots —> Expectations expressed in regional consultations
- Communal discernment process
- Renewed understanding of identity, mission and priorities for CRC
- Engage membership:
– in articulating a renewed and shared understanding of CRC’s purpose and mission,
– in setting priorities for CRC leadership and staff;
- Strengthen communion and mutual support among members;
- Strengthen presence and voice of religious life in Canada.
Monthly Sequence (from January to April)
- Plenary session: Input [Fruits of previous step] and Orientations for next step
- Personal prayer
- Spiritual conversation in small groups
- Fruits of spiritual conversation
- Compilation of small groups’ contributions by facilitation team
- Plenary 1: Friday, January 15, 2021, “Spiritual foundations”
- Plenary 2: Friday, February 12, 2021, “Reading the signs of the times”
- Plenary 3: Friday, March 12, 2021, “Going deeper”
- Plenary 4: Friday, April 9, 2021, “Outcomes of regional consultations”
- General Assembly: 27-29 mai 2021, “Renewed vision and priorities”
Schedule for each of the plenary sessions
- Newfoundland Standard Time (NST): from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.
- Atlantic Standard Time (AST): from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m.
- Eastern Standard Time (EST): from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
- Central Standard Time (CST): from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
- Mountain Standard Time (MST): from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m.
- Pacific Standard Time (PST): from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m.
Sister Laurence Loubières, XMCJ (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Joined the Xaviere sisters in 1999
- Background in business and management
- General councillor since 2017
- Since 2019, Director of the Service for Discernment in Common (Jesuits in Canada)
Father Gilles Mongeau, SJ (CANsocius@jesuits.org)
- Joined the Jesuits in 1985
- PhD in theology from Regis College (University of Toronto)
- From 2003 to 2018 taught medieval theology and pastoral ministry at Regis College and at the Facultés Jésuites de Paris (Centre Sèvres)
- Research on communal discernment
- Facilitation of several processes including chapters of religious congregations.
- Spiritual director since 1993
- Assistant to the Superior of the Jesuits of Canada
About the General Assembly
The CRC’s General Assembly is held every two years. The participants are the members of the CRC. It is an opportunity for the leaders of Catholic religious congregations of women and men religious in Canada to meet and share their experience, to reflect on important issues and to celebrate together. At the end of the Assembly, the members will elect a new Administrative Council for the next two years.
About the keynote speaker
Father Ronald Rolheiser, OMI, is known throughout the English-speaking world for his books, weekly columns, retreats and workshops, which contributed to community-building in parishes and religious Congregations. He is President of the Oblate School of Theology, Texas. He also taught theology and philosophy at Newman Theological College, Edmonton. He served as Provincial Superior of his Oblate Province and served on the General Council for the Oblates in Rome.
Fr. Ron was born in Saskatchewan in 1947, entered the novitiate of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, professed his First Vows in 1966 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1972. He continued his education in Ottawa, Edmonton, San Francisco and Louvain, where he got his PhD/STD. In 1982, while in Belgium, he began to write a regular feature column, “In Exile”, which offered reflections on burning issues of the day. It was eventually carried by more that 80 newspapers worldwide. He is also the author of several articles and some twenty books, including:
- The Restless Heart, 1988 & 2004, the best popular spiritual book in the U.K. in 1990.
- The Shattered Lantern, The Atheism of our Daily Lives and the Path Beyond, 1994, 1995 & 2000, USA Catholic Book Awards for best paperback spirituality book in 1996.
- Seeking Spirituality, Guidelines for a Christian Spirituality for the Twenty-First Century, 1998, etc., whose American edition entitled The Holy Longing won the USA Catholic Press Book award in 2000, now translated into multiple languages.
- Wrestling with God, Finding Hope and Meaning in our Daily Struggles to be Human, 2018.