Witness & Grace Conversations: The Synod and Consecrated Life

Presented by Sr. Nathalie Becquart and Sr. Maria Cimperman

March 31, 2022



In partnership with the Catholic Theological Union, Global Sisters Report presented Witness & Grace Conversations: The Synod and Consecrated Life

The Synod on Synodality was launched in Rome in October 2021 by Pope Francis. This extraordinary two-year process is cause for hope for some and skepticism by others. But what is the Synod, really? How did it come to be, and what are its aims? How will it intersect with the lives of women religious?

This two-session series addressed these questions and others. We are grateful Sr. Nathalie Becquart and Sr. Maria Cimperman agreed to lend their expertise to our sessions which provided clarity, answered questions, and challenged us.



Sr. Nathalie Becquart is a member of the Xavière Sisters, Missionaries of Jesus Christ in France. In February 2021, she was appointed by Pope Francis as Undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops and in December 2021 she was appointed a member of the Dicastery for Communication. She was director of the National Service for the Evangelization of Youth and Vocations of the French Bishops' Conference and consultant to the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops. Before entering religious life, she worked as a consultant in marketing and advertising. After entering, she did marketing for Paulist Press, was the national coordinator for a scouting program for poor urban youth, director of a university chaplaincy program, and a member of the bishop’s council of the Diocese of Nanterre, France. She played a large role in the 2018 Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment in Rome at the Vatican — as speaker, coordinator of the pre-synod, and observer at the synod. She holds degrees or studied at universities in France and the U.S., including philosophy and theology at the Centre Sèvres - Facultés jésuites, sociology at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in Paris, and specialized in ecclesiology with research on synodality at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. A lecturer and trainer, she is the author of numerous publications on synodality and synods, young people and youth ministry, vocations and religious life, church and mission. 
Sr. Maria Cimperman is a Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Associate Professor of Catholic Theological Ethics, and Director of the Center for the Study of Consecrated Life at Catholic Theological Union. She is part of a four-person panel assembled by the International Union of Superiors General (women) and the Union of Superiors General (men) to collect and synthesize responses from congregations of religious as part of the synodal process. Her work is at the intersection of moral theology, social ethics and spirituality. Her latest book, Religious Life for Our World: Creating Communities of Hope, was published in August 2020. A current area of research is reconciliation and peace-building. Equal to her passion for ethics is her passion for engaging in topics related to contemporary religious life. She brings a post-Vatican II generational lens to the wider theological, pastoral and global concerns of religious life. She works with women and men in various stages of initial and ongoing formation, leadership groups and congregations discerning future directions.  She presents and engages nationally and internationally with diverse groups on religious life issues.

See all of our past and upcoming Witness & Grace Conversations.