Sister Rekha M. Chennattu, superior general of the Religious of the Assumption congregation, addresses the Feb. 1-20 general plenary of her congregation in Paris along with Archbishop Michel Aupeti of Paris. (Photo supplied)
Catholic religious are experiencing the crises felt across the world, and it challenges them to redefine their mission and identity, says the Indian head of Assumption nuns.Sister Rekha M. Chennattu, superior general of the Religious of the Assumption congregation, was speaking after concluding a 20-day general plenary of her congregation in Paris.The congregation’s 23 provincials from 34 countries on four continents attended the biennial conference that ended last week in the motherhouse of the congregation.“We live in a rapidly changing world and an evolving multicultural and multireligious environment,” said Sister Channattu, adding that the global changes also affect the religious.
“We experience tensions between globalization and localization, internationality and inculturation, secularised culture, and a longing for meaningful spirituality.”
Sister Chennattu was a Bible professor in a major seminary before elected as the first Asian to head the Paris-based congregation in 2018. “There seems to be a crisis in the world today, and we religious are not above this global phenomenon which envelops our daily life,” the nun said.The fast-changing technology in communications and the internet has redefined the concept of time, entertainment, education and business. These changes seem to have created crises of values and identity, and that affects the religious too, she said.“How do we redefine ourselves and make our presence — our identity and mission — a source of healing and integration in a wounded, broken and divided world? That’s is the challenge,” Sister Chennattu said.The congregation's discussions centered around the challenge. “New forms of religious life for our times” was one of the subjects discussed, she said.The new forms may rework structures for better animation, communion, greater life and deeper commitment to the poor and marginalized.They also discussed ways for better collaboration with laypeople.“Going to the peripheries and to be on the margins will be the identity mark of our congregation,” Sister Chennattu told UCA News in a telephone interview.“As an international congregation, our experiences shared in the reports underline that living interculturality is not merely an intra-community call but an ad-extra reality within which we find ourselves today.” She said the congregation would remain deeply rooted in the Assumption heritage and discern new forms of “our presence” in the Church to extend the Kingdom of God.
“We need to continue our ongoing search for meaning and relevance, which implies not only restructuring but constant renewal. It seems imperative also to have a mindset focused on integration, inclusion, wholeness and holiness,” the nun said.
Support UCA News...
UCA News provides a unique service, bringing you the voices of emerging churches and helping you see efforts made to evangelize and bring relief to people in all manner of need.
UCA News has more than 40 full time and part time reporters, editors and administrators bringing you this service from across 23 countries in south, southeast and east Asia. You, too, can be part of their efforts by contributing even a small amount to keep UCA News available to the world.
Click here to consider the options available to you.
Your contribution to UCA News will immensely help us continue to grow a strong media community by harnessing information technology to inform, engage, inspire and influence the Catholics of Asia and the world.
As a gesture of our gratitude to your commitment to UCA News, we are pleased to gift you a free PDF Book/e-Book titled Mission in Asia when you make a contribution.