Innovate Congregation

October 20, 2012 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

New Delhi, October 19, 2012: Congregational structures of yesteryears do not respond to modern consciousness. Stable systems do not respond to changes. Successful ventures of the past resist reframing for the present or take on to futuristic dynamisms.

In the recent past there have been many changes in the organizational aspect of the religious congregations. Breaking down to smaller communities, community level dialogues and province level chapters to facilitate decision making, new structures at the province/congregation levels, inculturation of life style, new leadership modes, decision making process etc have been taking place. All congregations, including contemplatives, renewed their Rule of Life to suit the changed times and the Canon Laws were reformulated.

Even before the Vatican Council Pope Pius XII constituted consecrated life among the laity in the form of secular institutes. The post Vatican period saw dramatic changes that made international congregational identities to symbolisms of a medal that may be used on special occasions.

In other words innovations have been galore but a positive focus to the new have been evading. The level of innovations varies from 20% – 80% on an indication scale. The innovations have not been able to reverse the downward slide.

Since Indian society was not connected to European culture most groups have not been adversely affected by the type of slide experienced by the western religious. The myth of a universal Christian culture exploded with the happenings in recent times. Hence universal models of congregations are no more tenable. It may have to find network models.

Integrated in a multi-religious context the missionary foundations created to go to the non-christian people have to innovate the new model of being Messengers of Christ.

Innovating the present exclusive communities into inclusive communions is happening on the ground in the form of insertion communities and participative mission to humanity.

Strategy for Innovation

1. Inter-congregational communities and service centers should become normative in our country. Mind sets and organizational structures have to change radically.

2. Good Governance can transform the traditional patriarchal system and release the tremendous resources of our members which are now wasted.

3. Indian Ashrams have the space for multi-religion commitments that can break traditional borders like that of Pauline innovations to the gentile world.

4. Consecrated life of the laity in the form of secular institutes and that of religious life needs to find a new equilibrium in a borderless space.

5. Global citizens by the minute is creating unlimited space in the digital world. Consecrated life in the digital world opens up a spirituality of mystical dimension.

– bro. mani mekkunnel, cri

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