UISG Canon Law Council lead two Workshops in Nairobi
Now that the two workshops held in Nairobi are over, we realize the importance of what happened and of what we have accomplished together.
Last year the UISG thanks to the financial support offered by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation began planning the organization of a Canon Law workshop in Kenya. They thought of collaborating with ACWECA (Association of Consecrated Women in Eastern and Central Africa) in order to involve the Superiors General and Provincials from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.. A second idea was to work with AOSK (Association of Sisterhoods of Kenya) to offer another workshop for the members of Provincial Councils from Kenya.
These dreams came true on February 20-24 first at the Mary Ward Centre and then at 25-26 at the Dimesse Sisters Centre. The recently prepared UISG strategic plan had included collaboration with conferences of religious as a key objective, therefore these two workshops fulfilled that commitment.
More than sixty participants came to the first programme and more than eighty to the second.
Sr. Patricia Murray, IBVM, UISG Executive Secretary, shared on the progress that UISG is making in promoting global solidarity among women religious, especially in supporting leaders of congregations in the many different and painful situations which they are facing.
The Council of Canon Lawyers: Sr. Mary Wright ibvm, Sr. Mary Gerard Nwagwu dmmm, Sr. Licia Puthuparambil smi, and Sr. Tiziana Merletti sfp, together with Sr. Noelina Nakato dm, and Sr. Marren Akoth Awiti ibvm, offered their expertise on many aspects of religious life, through presentations and “Questions & Answers” sessions.
The participants of both workshops appreciated very much the opportunity of being together and getting help from a canon law perspective.
Here is some of the feedback received:
“It is the first time for me to hear from women religious canon lawyers. I felt I could share my concerns and get the most needed advice”.
“Now I know that I am not alone in facing certain issues”.
“I didn’t realize how helpful the canon law can be. We need to continue our formation in this way”.
14 canon law students who are currently studying at CUEA – Catholic University of Eastern Africa – together with a newly graduated canon lawyer were invited to attend. The speakers had a chance to meet with them and listen to their feedback. Each was very grateful for the opportunity, which was seen as a privilege and also as an eye opening experience. They said the following:
“I feel encouraged for the future because now I can see how much useful our studies can become for our institutes”.
“When you are focused on studying canon law, you don’t realize how much it touches our concrete life. The presentations these days make me realize how much I want to get ready for the challenges”.
“I feel a great responsibility to follow your commitment. You, as the UISG Canon Law Council, are modeling for us an amazing way to be canon lawyers at the service of the Church and of our congregations”.
We left with a great sense of gratitude for the warm welcome we experienced from our sisters from Eastern Africa and from Kenya and with a greater commitment to continue our ministry with passion and an increased sense of solidarity.
The UISG Council of Canon Lawyers