By Amanda Murthy
A Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) session attended by 68 Religious Sisters from 12 congregations and a number of other visitors addressed the topic of “Communio: Stewarding a Life that Belongs to the Church and the World”.
The session was held at the St Catherine’s House of Hospitality on the morning of Monday 1 July.
Attendees had the opportunity to pray, network, listen and discuss a few key topics highlighted in the seminar.
Sister Pellegrino CSJ used the Pastoral Cycle of See-Judge-Act as a framework for her presentation.
The three movements addressed “Naming the Moment”, “Making Meaning in the Moment”, and “Our Mission in the Moment”.
Communio, Sr Pellegrino said, is the fullness of relationship – whilst stewardship is an act of justice in service to communio.
“Today, ‘truth’ has been distorted, politicised and manipulated and those who have control of a message also have control of those who hear that message. However, despite the apparent chaos, randomness and unpredictability in our lives there is a divine order in Christ’s world today.
“We are called to read the signs of the times and tell the truth as an act of justice,” Sr Pellegrino added.
Sr Pellegrino went on to say that with the multiple and conflicting world views operative today multiple generations alive at the same time, the rapid pace of change in the world today, the decline of institutions and the loss of the Church’s moral authority, it is necessary to grieve the loss of the world that we have known with clear boundaries and identity.
“There is hope: Jesus’ resurrection took place in the midst of a grieving, broken community when even the appearance of new life was fearful and disorientating, but the apostles found courage and grew,” she stated.
“Like Jonah in the belly of a whale for three days, Esther, praying and fasting for three days and Jesus’ three days in the tomb and ‘descending into hell’ before resurrection we too live, this paschal story in losing our dreams and being entombed in darkness while waiting for healing, forgiveness and light.
“Just as Jesus went to the most separated people and brought healing and comfort, our work is to illumine the communion – the unity of all relationships – that is the fundamental nature of creation.
“We do this in recognising our fragility and vulnerability and allowing Christ to bring light so something new can emerge and be shared with others,” she continued.
“We are called to live in the tension between the reality of what is and the possibility of what could be.
“Then, we will be people of prophetic hope sharing in the one paschal story of all of creation,” she concluded.