Religious Life in East and Central Africa

Religious Life for Women in East and Central Africa: A Sustainable Future

This project was funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s Catholic Sisters’ Initiative and carried out by a two research partners in the UK: the Centre for Catholic Studies of Durham University and the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology, Cambridge.

It explored the sustainability of the apostolic form of religious life for women in five countries of East and Central Africa.

This 36-month study was implemented in partnership with the Leadership Conferences of Catholic sisters in each of the five countries. The project aimed to combine the shared expertise of the UK-based researchers and sisters in each of the five countries, to enrich local theological reflection on the lives of women religious, and to contribute to the growing global discourse on the nature and future of religious life for women. The project answered the questions:
What are sisters saying is the essence of women’s Religious Life in Africa today and into the future?
What are the key challenges that hinder this essence?
What are the best practices for ensuring the understanding and living of it, and the communication of this to sisters in formation
The research team was led by Dr Catherine Sexton, together with Dr Maria Calderón Muñoz. They were supported by a country-based team: Sr Margaret Sewe IBVM (Kenya), Sr Scholastica Mwale SCO (Malawi), Sr Dr Deusdedita Lutego CTH (Tanzania), Sr Christine Keneema DM (Uganda), and Sr Helen Mwale LSMI (Zambia).

Download the Report here

Interview with Dr Catherine Sexton

Senior Research Fellow at the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology. Director of the Religious Life Africa programme. Catherine has a PhD in theologies of ministry among older RC sisters in the UK and worked on the earlier project researching vitality among apostolic sisters in the UK and Ireland, also funded by the Conrad N.Hilton Foundation’s Catholic Sisters Initiative.

Download the Report here

Read the interview with Sr. Mariana Bbalo, a Religious Sisters of the Holy Spirit from Zambia here


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