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Indian Religious vow to stand out from the world

Women’s plenary agrees to foster ’authentic spirituality’

Women religious attending their triennial plenary in Kochi, Kerala (Attached) Women religious attending their triennial plenary in Kochi, Kerala (Attached)
  • ucanews.com reporter, Kochi
  • India
  • January 12, 2011
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Heads of India’s Catholic women Religious have urged their people to lead a lifestyle that contrasts with the modern world.

Some 450 major superiors, representing more than 100,000 Catholic women Religious, ended their triennial plenary yesterday at Kochi, Kerala.

The Conference of Religious Women of India (CRWI) noted that the Religious now face a crisis because they lack “authentic” spirituality and “renewed understanding” of their identity and mission.

“Religious life is becoming irrelevant and meaningless for some,” stated the four-day plenary.

The women Religious reiterated that their primary call is to follow Jesus and the Gospel and continue “in history the special presence of the Risen Lord.”

However, the Religious have to live their vowed life amid explosions of money, media and technology that bring a culture of death and creates emptiness in many, the plenary noted.

Therefore, the Religious have to find relevant ways to respond to these challenges as “contrast communities” that promoted Gospel values of love, justice and truth, the superiors asserted.

According to them, the modern challenges force the Religious to collaborate with “positive forces” that try to transform a violent, fragmented, corrupt and exclusive society to create a new India of hope, compassion and truth.

The plenary resolved to let their “contrast community” to find creative ways to help the poor and the oppressed.

These communities will foster “authentic spirituality based on deep God experience,” contemplation, communion and commitment.

They will also discern choices and priorities in the consumerist world and foster family spirit, genuine relations and freedom with responsibility, the statement said.

The superiors want their people to break their “culture of silence” to oppose all forms of human rights violations and realize such a mission indeed helps them participate “in the passion of Christ.”

The plenary also encouraged inter-congregational collaboration in mission and resolved to safeguard the dignity and life of the girl child and women.

The meeting decided to create a grievance cell in all 13 regions of the Conference of Religious India to deal with gender issues.

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