On Thursday, June 3rd, the third webinar from the series “Sisters Empowering Women: A Place at the Table in the Spirit of Fratelli Tutti” took place. More than 350 participants gathered online to reflect and discuss the theme of education – its importance and crucial role in human growth in every aspect, communal and individual. The meeting was moderated by Chiara Porro, Australian Ambassador to The Holy See and Sr. Pat Murray, Executive Secretary of UISG.

Why discussing education is so important?  Because its influence goes far beyond the knowledge gathered in the formal education school system, as Sister Grazia Loparco FMA pointed out in her opening remarks to the webinar. Its main purpose should be to raise qualifications and broaden one’s interests, but most importantly awaken the very best in each person: empathy and courage to ask questions, name problems and creativity bringing in ideas, which could make our common reality better for everyone. Women religious were, are and will be vital part of this process – in their communities, schools and families, often reaching places no one else cares about enough.

Education in human flourishing should come from the family environment, as it should be the first school of human values. The family and the formal education system should be compatible. In the second presentation, Sister Arcelia Hernández Elizondo, FMVP, Official of the Congregation for Catholic Education, reflected on this topic, basing on chapter 7 of Pope’s exhortation Amoris Laetitia. For the family and school collaboration to be effective, it is essential to heal three fractures: firstly the separation of reality and transcendence; secondly individualism and the lack of interest in common values and societal problems and finally the neglect of and lack of proper attention to our common home. Dealing with these problems can help bringing people together, using knowledge and sensitivity to overcome them.

We can educate and work together towards a more comprehensive education, but what should we do about other types of obstacles preventing us from reaching this goal. These are experienced by more and more people during this time of pandemic: tiredness, overwhelming stress, anxiety or even symptoms of depression? Sister Miriam Altenhofen, SSpS shared her insights as a psychologist on what can help us to get through this challenging time and how women religious, as leaders of local communities, can provide the necessary support for people around them to help them flourish and not give up hope.

The cherry on top – four Sister Educators shared their testimonies on how women religious influence global education in practice – they talked about the Global Compact on Education, a recent seminar on education and its impressive impact, reaching 700 people from all the corners of the world. More information and resources are available on our website. Highly recommended!

If you couldn’t attend the webinar for any reason or would like to listen again to our inspiring speakers – don’t worry! We have it registered and available on our YouTube channel in following languages: SpanishItalianEnglishFrenchPortugesePolishArabic and German. Make sure not to miss the next meeting of the series, which will take place on June 25 – we hope to see you there!

UISG Communications Office


  1.   Annmary Andrews says:

    Thank you my dear Sisters. I am happy we are focusing on education which is so crucial for a sustainable and peaceful world.

  2.   Esther Leroux says:

    The document “the partnership of leaders and communicators” – is ti available in Italian? I would like to share it with the Council here.
    Thank you

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