A trip to Zambia: a synod-style journey

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Joy, sharing, and prayer characterized the trip of Sr. Carmen Ros, NSC, DICLSAL Undersecretary, and Dr. Daniela Leggio, department head of the Office for the Promotion and Formation of Consecrated Life, to Lusaka, Zambia.

An intense week, May 27-31, in which they were able to get to know the various realities of consecrated life in the country and convey the care and closeness of the Dicastery. After meeting in Lusaka with the Leaders of ACWECA (Association of Consecrated Women in Eastern and Central Africa), ZAS (Zambia Association of Sisterhoods) and ARMZ (Association of Men Religious of Zambia), Sr. Carmen Ros commented, “We were able to have a close look at the vitality and commitment that these groups bring to the service of consecrated life, so that it may be rooted in the particular contexts in which they live.”

At the conclusion of the day on May 27, the two representatives of the Dicastery spoke with some women religious from different countries who are attending the annual course for formators at the Kalundu Center.

From May 29-31, they participated in the meeting organized by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Catholic Sister Initiative that financially supports religious women engaged in human development and the promotion of peace and justice.

The event, titled Embracing a Shared Vision: Impact, Learning and Collaboration in Service for the Common Good, was attended by Sr. Carmen Ros along with some representatives of the Holy See’s Dicasteries: Dr. Paolo Ruffini, Prefect of the Dicastery for Communication, Sr. Alessandra Smerilli FMA, Secretary of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development and Sr. Nathalie Becquart, XMCJ, Under-Secretary of the Synod of Bishops.

“The Church, and in it consecrated life, has always measured itself in relation to the modern age, with the cultural processes of the time, and this has required openness of thought, interpretation based on faith, theological re-elaboration and canonical attention, in a continuous dialogue with consecrated men and women to welcome what the Spirit is suggesting and bringing about,” emphasized Sr. Carmen Ros, who was invited to speak on the role of the Dicastery in favor of consecrated life. “The Dicastery is present in the church to be an instrument of God’s closeness in our journey of consecration.” For this reason, “every consecrated woman can feel accompanied in her following of Christ, in the joys and difficulties that this following in today’s world, in different cultures may entail.”

It was Dr. Leggio's task to present the projects carried out by the Dicastery with the support of the CNHF: the studium formation course, open to English and Spanish-speaking consecrated men and women; the reflection together with some Conferences of Major Superiors on how to deal with the challenges posed to institutes in situations of fragility; and the synodal journey with consecrated men and women from all over the world on the theme of reconciliation entitled pilgrims of hope on the path of peace

Before departing, a final meeting was held with the President of COSMAM/COMSAM, (Confederation of Conferences of Major Superiors(s) of Africa and Madagascar) to share the challenge of living diversity as a richness and forming men and women capable of accepting their vocation as a gift and service to the Church and the whole world.

07 June 2024