CMSM released the following statement this week following Pope Francis’ remarks on abuse against women religious by some clergy:
We are grateful to Pope Francis for shining a light on the tragic mistreatment of women religious by clergy wherever it has occurred. This abuse against our sisters in faith and service is inexcusable and indefensible. We call for an end to abuse wherever it occurs. We stand in solidarity with women religious who give so selflessly to raise up those in need across the globe. May we also always raise up their gifts and dignity.
New CARA research released for the World Day of Consecrated Life on Feb. 2, suggests good news for religious vocations. Catholic News Service reports that CARA researchers found 240 men and women had professed religious life in 2018, up from 200 in the prior survey. Seventy-one percent of CMSM major superiors responded to the annual survey this past fall.
Among the findings for men religious:
- Average age of responding religious of the 2018 Profession Class of 2018 was 38 years old
- Average age when they first considered a religious vocation: 18
- 78% of men and women religious were encouraged to consider religious life. For men, 51% were encouraged by a parish priest, 46% by a friend, 39% by a religious brother or sister, 38% by their mother, and 37% by their mother
- Ethnicity: 61% Caucasian; 17%, Asian/Pacific Islander; 12%, Latino; and 10% African/African American/Black
- 90% grew up Catholic
- 54% finished college before entering religious life
In releasing the report, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, spoke to those discerning a vocation to consecrated life: “Oftentimes, those discerning a vocation search for the perfect community. The Lord, who created every heart, knows of the way he is calling each person to serve him. Trust that he will lead you to the vocation that is perfect for you.”
Read the full report and press release.
CMSM is launching a new safeguarding webinar series in mid-February. Open to CMSM member institutes and their staffs, the free monthly webinars will cover communications, pastoral care, the use of restorative justice for community healing, and file reviews. Email us for details and registration information. The first webinar is Feb. 14.
Mark your calendar now for 2019. Join us for these national events, and check for an email from your region chair with spring region dates.
This year, our National Assembly will be an extraordinary gathering so major superiors of men and their councils are encouraged to attend. We will gather to look ahead: who religious are today within our charisms and as a “symphony of charisms,” what we are called to be, and how best to move forward at this moment in religious life. This convocation will replace the usual pre-assembly workshop and assembly format.
If you have questions about any of these events, or need to check your region or get your region chair’s contact information, please contact us at 301-588-4030 or by email.
The Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) responds to the revelation of abuse allegations in Pennsylvania and elsewhere in recent days:
Recent news out of Pennsylvania, Washington and other places regarding past abuse by clergy and religious is devastating to us, the major superiors of men religious in the United States, because these actions harmed innocent young people, and betrayed the mission and person of Christ.
We wish to stand in solidarity with those who were abused. For the men and women who have been harmed, we offer you our support. We renew our personal and organizational commitment to do all that we can to keep young people in our own ministries safe now and into the future.
We also stand with the faithful who are feeling a deep loss of trust resulting from the revelations and the scale of the reports covering the past 70 years. We share in this pain.
We affirm our commitment to the protection of young people, to creating safe environments where young people are able to flourish as children of God and people of faith.
We pledge to continue to implement child safety education, background checks, reporting, and external reviews of our child protection efforts, as we have for the past 16 years. To this end, we will continue to collaborate with other organizations on implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Young People and to be vigilant in the screening and formation of applicants for the priesthood and religious life.
We recognize a need for all of us to use the power entrusted to us because of our ministry for good. We pray in sorrow for our sins.
The Conference of Major Superiors of Men (cmsm.org | @cmsmshares | @cmsmtweets) is the national organization for U.S. leaders of Roman Catholic men’s religious institutes, monastic communities, and societies of apostolic life. As the common voice for the leaders of these organizations, CMSM promotes dialogue and collaboration in service to over 16,000 religious priests and brothers in the United States. CMSM is headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Media contact: Susan Gibbs, firstname.lastname@example.org | 202.525.9554
The 2018 CMSM National Assembly and Pre-Assembly Workshop were featured in articles by the St. Louis Review and the National Catholic Reporter:
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Rev. Frank Donio, SAC
Pallottine Father Frank Donio was elected to the National Board of CMSM as an at-large member during the organization’s 2018 National Assembly, July 31-August 3, in St. Louis, Missouri. Three other Board members were re-elected for second terms: Fr. Jim Gannon, OFM; Fr. Tim Kesicki, SJ; and Bro. Sean Moffett, CFC.
Fr. Mark Padrez, OP, president of CMSM, and Bro. Larry Schatz, FSC, recognize Fr. Brian Terry, SA, as he concludes his term as president.
Dominican Father Mark Padrez, who has served as president-elect for the past year, was installed as president of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men during an August 2 Mass. He succeeds Father Brian Terry, SA.
This year’s National Assembly focused on young adults and discernment, in preparation for the Synod on Young People. Speakers included Tulsa Bishop David Konderla; Curtis Martin, the founder of FOCUS; and a lively discussion panel with Jesuit Father Tom Gaunt, president of CARA; Dr. Mary Hess of Luther Seminary; and three young adults: Br. Javier Hansen, FSC, Andrew Paulsen, a high school teacher in Newark, and Brian Miller of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Marist Brother Sean Sammon facilitated the panel and Assembly.
Participants also heard from Fr. Joseph Brown, SJ, professor of Africana Studies at Southern Illinois University, who challenged religious in a luncheon talk on racial justice and religious institutes. On August 1, nearly 50 participants gathered with local clergy, activists and young adults at St. Alphonsus “Rock” Church in N. St. Louis for a racial justice dialogue and prayer.
The week concluded with a Mass celebrated by St. Louis Archbishop Robert J. Carlson.
The beatification process for Servant of God Pedro Arrupe, SJ, is moving ahead, Jesuit Superior General Arturo Sosa announced this week. Father Arrupe served as superior general of the Society of Jesus from 1965-1983 and 15 years as president of the Union of Religious Superiors General (1967-1982). Father Arrupe was the master of novices at the Jesuit novitiate in Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945, when the United States dropped an atomic bomb. Read more about Father Arrupe and the status of the beatification effort here.
In Georgia, Savannah Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., is promoting the cause of the Georgia Martyrs, five Franciscan friars who served in the Spanish missions along the Georgia coast until being killed in a local uprising in 1597.
The diocese launched a new website this year to promote their cause. The cause for their beatification was opened in 1984 and the documentation sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints by Bishop Hartmayer’s predecessor, Bishop Kevin Boland, in 2007. Bishop Hartmayer will visit the Congregation in September to provide an update on promotion efforts.
The Vatican released the working document for the Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment on June 19 (in Italian). The document has three primary sections: recognizing, interpreting and choosing with regard to vocation in life.
Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri introduced the working document, noting, “The Synod’s primary aim is to make the whole Church aware of her important and not at all optional task of accompanying every young person, without exclusion, towards the joy of love; secondly, by taking this mission seriously, the Church herself will be able to reacquire a renewed youthful dynamism; thirdly, it is also important for the Church to take this opportunity to carry out vocational discernment, so as to rediscover how she can best respond today to the call to be the soul, light, salt and leaven of our world.”
News Coverage: Catholic News Service | National Catholic Reporter
Hotel Deadline is July 6
If you are attending the Pre-Assembly Workshop and/or National Assembly, reserve your hotel room by July 6 to get our special conference rate of $135/night and to guarantee a room. “Youth & Religious Leadership Together: Discerning in Missionary Discipleship,” is July 31-Aug. 3, in St. Louis, Missouri. Learn more here. If you have questions, please contact Susan Gibbs.
The Catholic Apostolate Center and its Director, Fr. Frank Donio, S.A.C., were honored with the Gaudium et Spes Award from the National Association for Lay Ministry (NALM) on June 1, 2018 at an awards luncheon jointly hosted by NALM and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL). The awards luncheon took place during the 2018 conference hosted by NALM, NCCL, and the Federation for Catechesis with Hispanics.
Fr. Frank is a consultant to CMSM’s formation committee and he and the Catholic Apostolate Center are strategic partners with CMSM.
The Gaudium et Spes Award recognizes an outstanding individual or organization for promoting understanding of the Church in the world according to the vision of Vatican II. It is the highest honor that the association can bestow. Although the award has been given eighteen times since its inception in 1989, NALM has only recognized an individual and an organization together once before.
Fr. Frank and the Center were chosen for this award because of the extensive collaboration they engage in through his ministry as a Pallottine priest and the work of the Center. The Center was recognized for its ability to provide extensive resources to individuals and ministries so that many can revive faith, rekindle charity, and form apostles.
Read Fr. Frank’s remarks on accepting the award here.