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 84 congregations as members. This year the Congregation of the Pallotine Fathers (SAC) Società dell’Apostolato Cattolico, who had opted out of SEDOS in 2006, have re-joined. We welcome them back.

  1. Activities of SEDOS

SEDOS SPRING SEMINAR was held on Thursday, 30th March 2023, at the UISG, Piazza di Ponte Sant’Angelo, 28, 00186, Rome, on the theme, “Collaboration Between Congregations in Mission and Formation”. There were two prominent Speakers, Sr. Nadia Coppa, ASC, who spoke on the theme, “Collaboration Between Congregations in Mission and Formation” and the second Speaker was, Fr. Adelson Araújo, SJ, who spoke on, “Laity: Co-partners in Mission and the Involvement in the Local Church”. The talks were very effective and insightful. In the Panel discussion, the combined sharing of: Fr. Francis Rozario, SMA, and Sr. Juliana, MSOLA, the experience of Br. Alberto Lamana, MCCJ, and the online sharing of Fr. Jim Greene, who works for Solidarity with South Sudan on inter-congregational ventures, was both inspiring and edifying.

The Seminar was well attended in person but the participation online was comparatively less. There were 71 participants in person and 27 online.

SEDOS “RESIDENTIAL” SEMINAR was held at the “Centro Ad Gentes”, Nemi, in presence and online, on the theme, “Changing Landscape of Religious-Missionary Life”, from 1 – 5 May, 2023. It was a very enriching and insightful experience for the participants. There was strong awareness of the changing landscape of religious missionary life, which calls for creative individual engagement to be relevant. Many said that to be effective one needs to be a prophetic witness, serving those in the peripheries by working for justice, peace, hope, reconciliation and healing. They brought the new ideas and committed themselves to re-thinking their mission. The environment of the Seminar was great. The natural beauty around the Lake of Nemi and the beautiful sunset/sunrise are unforgettable. There were 45 Participants in person, of whom four had been awarded a scholarship.

Then the International Association of Catholic Missiologists (IACM) organized a seminar on the theme, “Mission is Synodality”. It was held on 27 October 2023, at the Pontifical Salesian University, Rome. The Director attended the Conference on the behalf of SEDOS, as SEDOS is a member of the Association.

SEDOS Autumn Seminar on the theme, “Mission as Synodality — on the experience of living synodality”, was held on 13th November 2023 at the UISG, Rome. Sixty people registered for the Seminar, which was organised only in person and not online. The theme was appreciated as it was relevant, thought-provoking and beneficial for the congregations to share and discuss how to meet the various challenges facing their mission work. To foster synodality among the members, lunch was provided for all the participants. We could still explore the possibility of having a common lunch during the seminars in the future at an additional cost.

  1. Administration of SEDOS

The Administration of SEDOS continues to run smoothly with lots of effort on the part of the staff. The Director has tried to simplify and regularise the various activities of SEDOS. Sr. Jerly, the Bursar, continued the work of the finance department well. Sr. Celine, the Secretary, is doing her best in helping to organise and support all the events. Sr. Christina, the web master, is prompt in designing the logos for the various events and for the bulletins, updating the website, carrying out other online and digital programmes. Together with the director they are trying to improve the website and other digital data. Ms. Philippa is prompt in translating the articles and other necessary documents. The SEDOS Executive Committee Members are SEDOS’ greatest strength. They meet regularly to share their insights in organizing the various seminars and other activities of the institute. There are 10 Members on the Executive Committee who form a well-balanced team, taking into consideration both gender and continent. The team is really inspiring. Fr. Chris Chaplin will finish his term as Executive Committee Member in November. We thank him for his dedicated service and insightful participation; as his leaving creates a vacuum we need to elect a new member to take his place on the Board. Four candidates have been nominated so far from different men’s congregations.

With regard to the Bulletin, the editing and publication is going on as usual. Bro. René Stockman, FC, and Fr. André-Leon Simonart, M.Afr., have agreed to be part of the editorial board. The Website is regularly updated and attempts are being made to improve it. A new Facebook page SEDOS Roma has been created and is monitored. Registrations and payments are done online. The library is regularly updated with new publications, which are also displayed on the Website.

  1. Finances

As the Executive Committee has decided to limit the finances, at the end of each Fiscal Year, to 100,000 Euro, all the activities are carried out keeping in mind the set limit. This

year we have been able to bring the expenses down from 107,570.00 to 99,764.00 Euro. This year the number of printed Bulletins has been reduced, since it is now printed according to the needs of each congregation. The receipts are comparatively fewer than last year, which is mainly due to the reduced number of participants at the Seminars. We earnestly request all the congregations to send more participants. A couple of congregations have not paid their membership fees in spite of reminders, but it is hoped that they will pay later. Overall, our financial situation is good. We were able to cover all the expenses and hope to manage them within the set limit.

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 their respective Congregation, the cleaning lady presents a fiscal bill every three months, as do the translators for every Seminar they provide their services. They are paid 250 Euro for half a day and 400 Euro for a 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, is paid 250 Euro every month.

  1. Basic Schedule of SEDOS in 2024

Spring Session 2024

Residential Seminar 2024

Autumn Seminar 2024

Annual General Assembly

Christmas Gathering

  1. Conclusion

I may say that SEDOS is doing wonderfully well, and that there has been positive feedback on SEDOS activities from different areas. We feel the commitment of the SEDOS members at the Seminars where they take part with impassioned sharing and creative insights. The participants think it is really worthwhile to attend the Seminars as they encounter new ideas, new insights, and so move forward. I request all the members of SEDOS to send more members to the Seminars, where they can share their experience and creative insights and thus enhance the religious missionary life of one another in the context of today. Let us burn with zeal for the missionary life with ever greater dedication and commitment.

Thank you.

John Paul Herman, SVD

Director of SEDOS, Rome

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