Catholic nuns are set to convene in Rome to deliberate on pressing contemporary issues. The inaugural Advocacy Forum, organized by the International Union of Superiors General (UISG), is scheduled to take place in Rome on October 23 and 24.
The forum, titled “Religious Women: Leadership and Development,” will feature Catholic nuns from around the globe. They will engage in conversations with representatives from governments, international organizations, Vatican bodies, faith communities, civil society, the private sector, academic institutions, and the media.
The gathering aims to contribute to the synodal journey of the Catholic Church by outlining a joint action plan for advocacy. This plan is intended to bring about systemic changes and address significant challenges for the sustainable growth of our societies and the Earth.
The subjects to be discussed encompass issues that impact the balanced growth of our societies and the Earth. These issues include climate change, biodiversity loss, poverty, joblessness, social disparity, forced migration, human trafficking, health emergencies, and human rights violations.
Sister Patricia Murray, the Executive Secretary at UISG, states, “Catholic nuns are at the forefront of the world’s most critical humanitarian and developmental issues.” She adds that through years of aiding marginalized and vulnerable communities, nuns have established an extraordinary model of community involvement. Their grassroots networks are a crucial element in the global development equation.
Sister Murray further notes, “UISG envisions that these networks should be linked with global decision-makers to channel their potential and encourage truly sustainable, systemic changes. This vision informs UISG’s advocacy efforts and serves as the foundation for our first-ever Advocacy Forum.”
The UISG serves as the coordinating body for leaders of Catholic women’s congregations. It has 1,903 member groups headquartered in 97 countries and represents over 600,000 Catholic nuns globally.
The forum, in partnership with the Global Solidarity Fund, will occur at the Jesuit Curia in Rome. It marks the culmination of a process initiated more than three years ago, in July 2020, when UISG introduced Sisters Advocating Globally in collaboration with the Global Solidarity Fund.
The initiative’s goal is to establish a network of nuns committed to social and environmental advocacy, enhance communication and cooperation with partners, and create spaces for contemplation on key international development themes.