CRA’s National Council is the governing body of CRA. Members are elected at the National Assembly of Leaders by leaders or co-opted by Councillors. The National Council normally meets six times per year.

Sr Monica Cavanagh rsj, CRA PRESIDENT

Sr Monica Cavanagh rsj is the President of CRA and is currently the Congregational Leader of the Sisters of St Joseph.  Monica grew up in Allora on Darling Downs.  She joined Sisters of St Joseph in 1970 in the wake of Vatican II.  Monica has a background in teaching, adult faith education and spirituality.  She began her ministry as a primary school teacher and later worked as Pastoral Associate in parishes before taking a role as the CCD co-ordinator in Cairns Diocese.  Later, she worked in Archdiocese of Brisbane in Adult Faith.  Monica has worked across all the dioceses in Queensland.  Before going to Sydney in her Leadership role, Monica worked in Toowoomba Diocese in the area of Pastoral Planning and Pastoral Leadership Formation.

Monica has served in a variety of leadership roles in the Congregation and looks forward to this new challenge as President of Catholic Religious Australia as the Australian church begins the journey to the Plenary Council and implements the recommendations of the Royal Commission. 

St Mary MacKillop provides the inspiration for Monica in her leadership as she lives the call to be a missionary disciple.


The President works collegially with the members of the National Council, who are:

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Br Peter Carroll fms
Provincial, Marist Brothers Australia

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Sr Patty Fawkner sgs
Congregational Leader, Sisters of the Good Samaritan

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Sr Mary-Clare Holland op
Prioress, Dominican Sisters of Eastern Australia and the Solomon Islands

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Fr Tom McDonough cp
Provincial, The Passionist Fathers

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Br Paul O'Keeffe fsp
Province Leader, The Patrician Brothers

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Sr Stancea Vichie mss
Leader, Missionary Sisters of Service

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Sr Eveline Crotty rsm
Institute Leader, Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea

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Br David Hawke fsc
Provincial of the De La Salle Brothers of the District of Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea

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Sr Anne Lane pbvm
Congregational Leader, Presentation Sisters Wagga Wagga

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Sr Clare Nolan rsc
Congregational Leader, Sisters of Charity Australia

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Sr Noreen Reynolds op
Prioress, Dominican Sisters of North Adelaide

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Sr Lucy van Kessel pbvm
Congregation Leader, Presentation Sisters Western Australia