Monday Starter: UISG plans series of online conversations on synodality

Superiors of women's religious orders meet for the plenary assembly of the International Union of Superior Generals in Rome May 3, 2022. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Superiors of women's religious orders meet for the plenary assembly of the International Union of Superior Generals in Rome May 3, 2022. (CNS/Paul Haring) 

Editor's note: Global Sisters Report's Monday Starter is a feature from GSR staff writers that rounds up news from or about women religious that you may otherwise have missed.  

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The first of a three-part series of conversations by the International Union of Superiors General, or UISG, on synodality and the upcoming October Synod Assembly will be held at 2 p.m. Central European time on Sept. 14.

The conversation on "overview and opportunities" will have a particular focus on the issue of communion, one of the topics being addressed by the upcoming synod.

The two-hour online event will include brief overviews about synodality and the synod; a panel on the first major area, communion; and a "beginning experience of Conversation in the Spirit."

Panelists will include Sr. Jolanta Kafka, a Claretian Missionary sister and the former president of the UISG; Br. Mark Hilton, superior general of Brothers of the Sacred Heart; and Sr. Shalini Mulackal, a Sister of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and UISG formators program coordinator. Sr. Maria Cimperman, a Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and UISG synodal initiative coordinator, will serve as moderator.

Translation will be available in English, Italian, Spanish and French. 

Registration is needed and can be accessed here by Sept. 10. Subsequent meetings will be held Sept. 25 and 29.

A sign indicates where migrants can be picked up at La Plaza bus station in Brownsville, Texas, May 11. (OSV News/Reuters/Evan Garcia)

A sign indicates where migrants can be picked up at La Plaza bus station in Brownsville, Texas, May 11. (OSV News/Reuters/Evan Garcia) 

UISG plans course on ministry to migrants and refugees

In preparation for World Day of Migrants and Refugees on Sept. 24, UISG plans a training course entitled "Free to choose whether to migrate or to stay — pastoral care with migrants and refugees." 

The Sept. 18-21 event, which will be held 11 a.m.-2 pm Central European time, is being organized by UISG and the Scalabrini International Migration Institute and promoted by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development

The course is aimed at women religious who wish to learn more about the issues or want to be trained to serve migrants, refugees and/or asylum seekers, internally displaced persons, victims of trafficking, itinerants and their families. 

The training sessions will introduce the phenomenology of the migratory phenomenon, the international legal framework of human rights and also focus on the responses that the church can provide.

The registration link is here and the program can be downloaded here.

Online dialogue on 'living the church's social mission'

Georgetown University's Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life plans an online public dialogue at 12:30 p.m. Eastern, Sept. 14, on the topic "Catholic Sisters Living the Church's Social Mission: Signs of Hope."

The forum, which will feature four sisters, focuses on "living examples of Catholic social teaching in action" with Catholic sisters at the forefront of work for justice, peace and care for creation. The dialogue will "offer a window in that renewal and ways religious sisters make the Gospel come alive in some of the poorest and most challenging places on earth."

The four sisters are: 

Kim Daniels, director of the Initiative and member of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication, will moderate the conversation.

The dialogue is co-sponsored by the Georgetown University Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and supported by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

Registration for the event can be found here.

Retired Ursuline sister to receive 'Optimal Aging Award'  

Ursuline Sister of Louisville Janet Peterworth will receive the Gold Standard of Optimal Aging Award from the University of Louisville on Sept. 22. 

Sr. Janet Peterworth

Sr. Janet Peterworth (Courtesy of Ursuline Sisters) 

The Trager Institute website notes that the award "celebrates older adults, aged 85 years and over, who lead engaged and flourishing lives and inspire those around them with their zest for life. Our honorees are nominated by members of the community, family, friends, colleagues, and businesses." 

In her years of ministry, Peterworth has served as president of the Louisville Ursulines, as well as a teacher, principal, pastoral associate, parish administrator, nonprofit executive director, board educator and educational leader.

In retirement, Peterworth serves on nonprofit boards and volunteers with groups in Louisville. She has had an interest in international issues, particularly in Ireland and Central America. 

In 2015, she traveled with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, or LCWR, to El Salvador to mark the 35th anniversary of the martyrdom of four American churchwomen killed in 1980. She recently returned from El Paso, Texas, where she assisted with immigrant work.

Political podcast co-sponsored by Network returns

The "Just Politics" podcast, a collaboration of the Washington-based advocacy coalition Network and U.S. Catholic magazine, will return for a third season on Sept. 11, Network announced

The new season will focus on democracy, the advocacy group said in an Aug. 28 announcement —  specifically "the threat it faces from Christian nationalism; its promise; and how people can work to preserve, protect and expand it."   

"Democracy is one of the most important topics we can be talking about right now. I live in Ohio, and we just went through Issue 1, which was a ballot initiative that threatened to take away the idea of one person, one vote. ... It terrified me to know that some people really do not understand that democracy, the rule of our country, is hanging by a thread," said Sr. Eilis McCulloh, a Sister of the Humility of Mary, Network's grassroots education and organizing specialist and one of three co-hosts of the program.

Season 3 of "Just Politics" will also highlight the good work of pro-democracy advocates, the spiritual nourishment necessary to sustain this work, and the hope for democracy that religious faith cultivates.  

"Just Politics" can be found on the U.S. Catholic website, as well as on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and several other platforms.

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