SEDOS Annual Report 2022

SEDOS is a forum open to institutes of Consecrated Life which commit themselves to deepening their understanding of global mission. It encourages research and disseminates information through its Bulletin and website, public conferences, working groups and its Annual Residential Seminar. At present it has 83 congregations as members. This year the Congregation of the Missionary Franciscan Sisters of Immaculate Conception has opted out due to the shift of their Generalate from Rome and the Order of Friars Minor–Conventuals has asked for the suspension of its membership. At the same time there are two new members: The Society of Christian Doctrine (Women), and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur who have re-joined.

  1.  Activities of SEDOS

In 2022, the first SEDOS event was the Spring Session held on 11 March 2022, on the theme, “Mission in Secular Europe Today.” The choice of the Speakers was made according to what their contribution would be to the theme and how it would benefit the members. More than 500 registered and 200 to 300 people participated on-line. The members were pleased as they considered the reflections relevant and illuminating. It was noted that the online participation was chosen due to pandemic. Although the familial atmosphere of the gatherings can still be felt online, this needs to be reinforced by holding these seminars in person too. Therefore, it was recommended that the coming events could be held in person as well as online.

The Residential Seminar on the theme, “Formation for Mission” was organised from 9-13 May 2022, in Ariccia. It was a very enriching experience for all the participants. They expressed that the Speakers were good as they spoke with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. The seminar made them realise that many sisters/brothers in the world are struggling for unity and a better relationship with people of different beliefs. It was a good opportunity to interact with people working all over the world. The variety of the nations and the ministries of the sisters/brothers was astonishing. The environment of the Seminar was great. Nature, especially around the lake and the beautiful sunset/sunrise are unforgettable.

The Seventh Conference of International Association of Catholic Missiologists (IACM) on the theme, “Thirty Years Since Redemptoris Missio was held from 22-24 June 2022, at the Pontifical Urbaniana University, Rome. The Director attended the Conference on behalf of SEDOS. SEDOS is a member of the Association.

SEDOS was also invited to participate in an online symposium, “The Doors that Propaganda Fide has opened since 1622,” co-organised by the Centre for Catholic Studies, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Macau Ricci Institute from 24-26 August 2022.

The Autumn Seminar on the theme “Revisiting the Charism in Today’s Context” was held at the Collegio dei Verbiti, Rome, on 28 October 2022. Despite some technical difficulties due to holding a hybrid seminar, it was appreciated as it was relevant and thought-provoking and beneficial for the congregations to share and discuss how to meet the various challenges facing their mission work.

The long-awaited book, “New Trends in Mission” was also launched on 28 October 2022 by Mons. Camillus Johnpillai, Head of the office of the Dicastery for the Evangelisation of Peoples. The Publishers, ORBIS Books, Maryknoll, were generous enough to offer the book half price, so we could present one free copy to each member and to the authors. They also sent a few copies free of postage charges to some of the non-European countries. We thank them also for sending complementary copies the books connected with mission for our library.

A Workshop on “Missio Dei” was organised by Steyler Missions-wissenschftiches Institut, Sankt Augustin, Germany, from 2-5 November 2022 in Siegburg, Germany. It was a follow up to the Symposium which SEDOS had organised.

  1. Administration of SEDOS

 The Administration of SEDOS continues its process of simplification. Much has been worked out by Fr. Peter Baekelmans, CICM, the former Director, Fr. Biju, SVD, the former Bursar and Sr. Celine, JMJ, the Secretary. The entry of the new Director, new Bursar and other new Executive Committee members was a rather easy transition as they were always ready to help in case of need. The editing and publication of the Bulletin is going on smoothly and the Website is proceeding well with some attempts to update it regularly and make it better. A new feature, “The Word for the Day” has recently been added to the homepage every day. Now, most of the registrations are online. The library is regularly updated with new publications, which are also displayed on the Website.

  1. Finances

 Three years ago, the Executive Committee decided to set a limit on the finances at the end of each Fiscal Year. This limit is 100,000 Euro. So far, the running expenses of the office amounted to about 50,000 Euro, and the total cost per year was about 70,000 Euro and the remainder, about 30,000 Euro was kept in reserve in case of need. Now after the pandemic, new situations such as the hybrid form of events (online as well as in person) have come into existence. Since prices have gone up, the cost of things and services has also increased. But overall, our financial situation is good and we hope to manage it well within our limits. This year from the total income of 90,272.94 Euro, we still have 237.94 as surplus.

Due to new Customs regulations the incoming and outgoing postage and parcels are being charged heavily. We have to pay customs duties on every book from outside Europe even if it is free. So, we also had to pay extra Customs charges on the book, “New Trends in Mission”, imported from ORBIS.

The financial agreements for those working for SEDOS are in line with the requirements of the State. The religious working for SEDOS are paid by means of a donation to the respective Congregation, the cleaning lady presents a fiscal bill every three months, as do the translators from the last Autumn Seminar. They are paid 250 Euro for half day and 400 Euro for full day with taxes included. The English lady, Philippa, who has been working for SEDOS since September 1975 as translator, on a semi-volunteer basis, has requested SEDOS to extend her agreement. She does a great job in checking and translating some of the articles from other languages into English for publication on the website.

  1. Basic Schedule of SEDOS in 2023

Spring Session 2023

Residential Seminar 2023

Autumn Seminar 2023

  1. Conclusion

We know the online programs have become a necessary tool today as they foster wider global participation. But it has its limits. There is nothing better than meeting and encountering people in person. Thus, we encourage our Members to come in person to the events. For those who cannot attend for unavoidable reasons, we make the events available online so no one misses them. We are trying to improve the “hybrid” version: online and in situ.

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