Regional Gathering of Ursulines of the Roman Union
27th October - 3rd November 2014
"THINKING REGIONALLY, ACTING LOCALLY"
Our logo was designed by Laura Minna a Yr 10 student from St Ursula's College, Kingsgrove. This is her description of her design."My inspiration was to use the Ursuline cross as the focal point of the logo to represent unity. I then drew each of the countries, Australia, Thailand, Indonesia and China also including Taiwan, Cambodia and the Philippines. To identify each of the countries I have used elements from their flag as a symbol of their individuality. The blue surrounding the countries represents the water that unites and separates the provinces."
Ursulines of the Roman Union from the Provinces of Australia, Thailand, China, Indonesia and USA East gathered at St Joseph's Spirituality Centre, Baulkham Hills for a Regional Gathering. Ursuline sisters from each of these provinces participated in the gathering for ten days.
Before the main work of the Asia Pacific Conference all the participants were engaged in pre- conference experiences. Sisters from Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan and the Eastern Province of the United States were welcomed into our communities in Canberra, Alice Springs, Sydney, Toowoomba, Sunshine Coast and Brisbane. The sisters were invited to experience something of the local communities and the environment in which our Australian sisters lived. The pre- conference experiences provided an opportunity for us to get to know each other, to have some understanding of our local area, share about our ministries and discuss our living of community life in our various cultures. Relaxing and meeting each other outside the formal conference setting enabled us to arrive at Baulkham Hills ready for the work of the Conference.
Stewards were assigned for each day of the Conference. It was the Steward’s role to prepare Morning Prayer, Evening Reflection and Mass, and to ensure the practicalities were in hand. The focus of the conference “Thinking Regionally, Acting Locally” provided a wonderful scope for learning from each other, gleaning information about the variety of lived experiences and the manner in which each province works with those in need while trying to integrate the challenge and demand of outreach in various local situations.
We began by considering the Signs of Times in the Asian Church and in Religious Life. Information on Migration of Peoples in our region revealed a variety of circumstances in which people are moved from one country to another. It also exposed the enormous risk people take in the promise of seeking a more secure and peaceful life. Unfortunately, the outcome of the risk is frequently devastating for those seeking freedom. We were challenged about being responsible caretakers of the goods we have and the manner in which we use those goods so that our mission may continue to develop and be effective.
We explored the impact of Evangelii Gaudium and its implications for our own province and emerging region. We also looked at Theory U – Open mind, Open heart and Open will. Both Evangelii Gaudium and Theory U gave us a platform to integrate much of what had been shared with us throughout the days of the conference.
We left the conference, having a deeper sense of our Region and a commitment to the diversity and richness of each of our Provinces. From our sharing with each other we have a greater awareness of the harsh realities we share in the promotion of the dignity and value of the human person. “Greater possibilities for communication thus turn into greater possibilities for encounter and solidarity for everyone.” EG 87...
Our Conference broadened our minds and hearts and opened up for us the reality of “Thinking Regionally and Acting Locally."