As we are all struggling to plan and to work during this trying Covid-19. SEDOS too is doing its best to keep going. We had to reschedule the Spring Session this year and to make it into a free Webinar which surprisingly was very well attended online. The Autumn Seminar was also an online event and very well attended as well, with even more than the registered 235 paying participants because some watch it with the whole community or General Council.
It was thus a great success – also financially, although it is sometimes a bit lonely when working and talking during the seminar, as you can see from the photo.
This two-day Autumn Seminar 2020 was prepared in cooperation with Br. Emili Turú, FMS, and Sr. Piluca Benavente
Serrano, MSOLA, from Faith and Praxis. The theme was The Past – Present – Future of our Congregational Structures
in the Service of Mission. Congregations make a big effort to keep their structures in tune with the demands of Mission. This is not an easy task. We therefore started by listening to the experience of a Sister (Medical Mission Sisters), a Brother (Marist Brothers), and a Father (CICM) Congregation during the last 20 years. In the afternoon this was followed by the profound experience of a Canon Lawyer in the person of Sr. Mary Wright, IBVM, to learn the limits of restructuration.
The next morning we had very informative examples of some daring religious groups who are working on their structures to cope with the demands of the times, calling it Nazareth Global (MHSFN), Apostolic Platforms (SJ), or enlaNzada (Adsis).
The last afternoon was spent reflecting on the present influence of Covid-19 on our Congregational structures. We first had an analysis by Prof. Emilia Palladino (Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome) on how the Covid-19 emergency urges society and companies to change their way of doing things. Prof. Emilia showed that not moving along with the need for renewal and growth means the end of a company. General Councilor of the Marist Brothers, Ricky Laguda, then gave an example of the impact the pandemic has on his work and how the Congregation is adapting to the new situation. New ways are opening up for SEDOS as it can now reach far beyond the usual participation of those living in Rome. We had participants from all over the globe, but for some the time difference was a difficulty. We will work towards a combination of the two in the future. In this way, SEDOS will be able to offer its Documentation service through its recently renewed Website, and its Studies through local and online Seminars.