Our Congregational leader, Sr. Mary T. Barron, recently attended the 21st General Assembly of the Union of European Conferences of Major Superiors (UCESM) in Vranov, Czech Republic. The assembly, held from April 15 to 19, 2024, brought together representatives from 23 countries to discuss the theme “Religious Life: Identity and Future. Facing the Challenges of Today.”

The assembly emphasised vulnerability, cooperation with laypeople, and synodality, themes introduced by UCESM president Fr. Jānis Meļņikovs. Participants engaged in enriching discussions and prayer sessions, focusing on returning to the spiritual roots of consecrated life and building genuine community connections.

A major takeaway from the assembly was the need to see laypeople as co-responsible collaborators in the Church’s mission, rather than merely helpers. This inclusive approach is vital for the future of the Church.

In her role as President of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG), Sr. Mary has been actively involved in promoting synodality within the Church, participating in the first session of the Synod on Synodality in October last year.

Sr. Mary T. Barron’s involvement in the assembly and her ongoing work with the Synod on Synodality reflect her dedication to these essential discussions. Her efforts continue to guide the direction of religious communities in Europe.

For more detailed insights and reflections from the assembly, please refer to the full report here.