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CND Leadership attend CRC Assembly

Visitation Province

From May 24 to 27, 2018, in Montreal, more than 250 men and women religious in leadership from Catholic congregations in Canada attended the 32nd General Assembly of the CRC. Professor Elena Lasida gave the keynote address on the theme “The nights are laden with life. Watcher, what do you say?” 

Elena began her presentation quoting the letter of St. Paul the Apostle to the Romans:

 “We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now. . . . For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?”  Rom 8:22 and 24

Elena went on to say that our first reaction to these dark times is often to want to go back to what was before. But that’s not what Saint Paul tells us: to hope is to wait for something new that we do not yet know. It is a new world, carrying more life than the old, which must spring forth.

From Elena Lasida’s point of view, the ecological crisis is not just about the depletion of natural resources, but it also questions the meaning of our lives. It leads us to take a global look at what is happening on Earth. It is in that sense that the encyclical Laudato Si’ harbours inexhaustible wealth and can bring answers “to the nights” of the religious communities.

Her first presentation was structured around three pillars of Laudato Si:

1. Everything is connected

2. Everything is given

3. Everything is fragile

This consciousness developed within the encyclical offers a new definition of a “good life.”

Interdependence: it is an invitation to ally oneself with the other, to take risks with these others and to trust, to leave behind the partitioning of our world. In religious life, the vow of poverty frees and opens us up to this interdependence.

Communion: a community is not the sum of its parts, but a place of encounter, of dialogue, a unit like that of a polyhedron, with many facets, different ones, which are not erased but which set up dialogue. In religious life, it is by the vow of obedience that one recognizes oneself to be incomplete and consequently enriched by others and capable of enriching others.

Unexpected: the unexpected is always associated with the experience of a limit, an obstacle; it is the limitation that allows one to develop something new, to initiate processes. The promise is not the goal to be achieved, but is what sets something in motion and what one does not know. Guiding towards an unknown future is to watch over and create the space to watch together, to develop this ability to see where and how life is being born. In religious life, the vow of chastity permits one to be creative in another way.    

(Adapted from CRC Newsletter, June 12, 2018)


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