“Embracing our Reality”
Some 20 Brothers took up the invitation of Brother Brendan to attend a workshop in the newly-renovated house of Moyle Park, Dublin on the weekend of 28th – 29th March. The subject: “Embracing our Reality” – a topic which is becoming increasingly important for us.
Declining numbers of Brothers in the Province – a decline brought about by deaths and the lack of new “recruits” – gave an urgency to the issue of how to plan for the future. The workshop was facilitated by Sister Liz Murphy RSM, a former Provincial of her congregation and a highly experienced facilitator, who works with a number of different religious congregations.
Sister Liz gave us five questions to think about in groups composed of Brothers from the same country:
- What is the work of the Province in light of our conversations?
- What are the implications of this for my country?
- Who needs to be involved in these conversations?
- What is my commitment to sustaining the work of the Province?
- What next steps need to be taken locally during the mandate of this Provincial Council?
The importance of the discussions over the weekend lay, not in the producing of concrete proposals for the Provincial and his Council to enact, but in the virtually unanimous acceptance of the fact of diminishment in the Province. A number of significant themes emerged over the course of the weekend and these were helpfully summarized by Sister Liz as follows: Care of the old Brothers, leadership for the communities, issues of faith and spirituality, financial issues, structures of governance, hope…
Brothers Colin Chalmers and Alois Engel