Sowers of Prophetic Hope  

“For I know the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans to give a future full of hope.” (Jer 29:11)

Under this theme, the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) Plenary Assembly took place from May 06 to 10, 2019 in the Ergife Hotel in Rome. 820 Women Superiors General, from 80 different countries and 13 languages, participated in the assembly.  Before and after the assembly, Superiors General were offered the possibility of attending the following workshops: Canon Law for Religious Life, Communicating the Mission, Protection of Minors, and Hope for Children: from Institutional to Family Care.

It was an amazing experience to be with so many Women Superiors General from all over the world: listening, sharing, discussing, reflecting, praying and celebrating the Eucharist together in one big conference hall. After the UISG President and Executive Secretary gave their report, the assembly theme was developed through the inputs of competent religious and lay women. Clearly the UISG has undergone many structural and personnel changes during the past years and now is able to more effectively respond to the current needs of Superiors General by offering seminars, workshops, webinars and  online courses on topics such as: interculturality, formation, leadership, and protection of minors.

Our SSpS Sisters also played an important role in the assembly. Sr. Adriana Milmanda (ARS) was the resource person for, Sowers of Prophetic Hope by Intercultural Living.  Sr. Mária Florková (SLO) served as simultaneous translator for English-German-English, while Sr. Christel Daun (GER) did the written translations from English to German.  

It was a great joy to meet the Superiors General of two Congregations co-founded by our Sisters:  Sr. Asumala Kerketta (St. Joseph Sevalaya) from India and Sr. Gratiana Tafaib (Daughters of the Queen of the Rosary) from Indonesia. Both visited our Generalate community and had lunch with us.  

On May 10, the special audience with Pope Francis started with a very symbolic gesture. After entering the audience hall together with the UISG President and Executive Secretary, the Holy Father asked an attendant to replace his large chair with one equal in size to the guest chair.  Then he invited the UISG President to sit beside him. He began by having us imagine an assembly like this thirty years ago, when all the religious looked very much the same and then pointed out the current and beautiful reality of having Religious from all over the world, some with traditional religious habits, others with more modern ones and some in national or cultural dresses.  

More detailed information about the assembly can be found on the website #UISGPlenary2019.  

Sr. Maria Theresia Hörnemann SSpS – Rome