The 43rd National Assembly of Catholic Religious Australia began on Tuesday, 18 June 2019 exploring the theme of ”Communio: Stewarding a life that belongs to the Church and the World,” creating a deepening awareness of coming together in relationship and transformation.
An important part of the National Assembly is the election of the CRA President and Council members. Br Peter Carroll fms, Provincial, Marist Brothers Australia was enthusiastically elected as the new President of CRA on Wednesday, 19 June.
CRA is one of the few conferences of religious leaders in the world which represents both female and male religious. The Vice President will be elected at the first Council meeting and will be a female religious leader. CRA values the gifts of women and men and its statutes require that the roles of President and Vice President represent each gender.
“I thank my peers for giving me the opportunity to serve them and the Church at this time. There is no doubt in my mind that the voice of the Gospel is an absolute imperative in our society today. CRA’s role is to help amplify that voice within our Church and broader community,” said Br Peter.
New members were also elected to the Council and will address issues of importance to religious, the Church and society through the lens of the Gospel message. Council members come from across Australia, from small and large congregations. The 2019 Council comprises the President and the following Council members:
Anne Boyd csb, Brigidine Sisters
Eveline Crotty rsm, Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea
Patty Fawkner sgs, Sisters of the Good Samaritan
Sue Flood osu, Ursuline Sisters
David Hawke fsc, De La Salle Brothers of the District of Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea
Mary-Clare Holland op, Dominican Sisters of Eastern Australia and the Solomon Islands
Peter Jones osa, Augustinian Fathers
William Matthews sdb, Salesians of Don Bosco
Tom McDonough cp, Passionist Fathers
Clare Nolan rsc, Sisters of Charity Australia
Paul O’Keeffe fsp, Patrician Brothers
Catherine Reuter rsm, Sisters of Mercy, Brisbane
Noreen Reynolds op, Dominican Sisters of North Adelaide
Lucy Van Kessel pbvm, Presentation Sisters, Western Australia
Monica Cavanagh rsj, Congregational Leader for the Sisters of St Joseph and outgoing President, is confident in the new team.
Sr Monica said, “Serving as President for the past year has been both gift and challenge. I know the Council will continue the important work of being a prophetic voice at this moment in history. I wish Br Peter and the new Council every blessing.”
Br Peter is deeply grateful for the leadership of his predecessor. He acknowledges the task ahead.
“A President is only as good as his or her team and I am delighted to have people of such calibre as those who are in our new Council and in the Secretariat. Our call is to be servant leaders, particularly at this time in our Church. A gift of this community is to walk together as pilgrims of the Gospel,” said Br Peter.