The Association was founded following the National Pastoral Congress in Liverpool in 1980, with the desire that religious in the diocese could continue to be inspired by the enthusiasm generated by the congress. A group of Sisters met at the Convent of Marie Reparatrice in Jesmond to reflect on how an Association for the Religious could be formed and how it would function. Since then many sisters have been involved in maintaining its vitality.
Over the past 25 years or so there have been regular meetings, bringing the religious together to share experiences, mark special events and to be inspired by many speakers with particular insights to offer. Its objective on the one hand is to bring the religious together for prayer, sharing of work and charisms, and mutual support; it also helps towards a renewal of religious life and a better understanding of the role of religious in today’s society.
It provides a forum for the discussion of the relationship that exists between the local church and the religious and how the latter can participate fully in the pastoral action of the Diocese. There is an opportunity to present the views of religious to the Bishop and the Pastoral Council through representatives.
There is a worldwide celebration in honour of Consecrated Life each year on 2 February, witnessing among the people of the Diocese to our faith in Consecrated Life.
The other General Meeting is in the autumn and that is the occasion when we are pleased to welcome a speaker on a topic of mutual interest, while at the same time having an opportunity to enrich the day to day living of our personal calling and our service of God’s people.