Local News Archive
Print Issue: January 6, 1966
An Episcopal Directive Convoking, 1st Congress of Religious
1. By authority as archbishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, I hereby convoke the First Congress of Religious to be held in 1966 as an integral part of the program of renewal which will culminate in the Archdiocesan Synod in November.
2. The Congress is based on the documents of the Second Vatican Council, especially the Constitution on the Church, and the decree on the Adaptation and Renewal of Religious Life (#8). In the latter, it is stated:
In these communities, apostolic and charitable activity belongs to the very nature of the religious life, seeing that it is a holy service and a work characteristic of love, entrusted to them by the Church to be carried out in her name...the whole religious life of their members should be inspired by an apostolic spirit, and all their apostolic activity formed by the spirit of religious.
The relationship of religious to the archdiocese and parish they serve results from the need of unity and harmony in the apostolate (On the Church, #45).
3. The Congress of Religious will therefore explore their complete role in the entire Catholic body of the archdiocese and the general public community of northern Georgia. It will not deal with subjects of strictly internal concern; vows, constitutions and particular rules of their respective communities.
4. The Congress should consist of two elements: -- (a) A General Executive Committee including a Steering Committee, and area committees as determined by the Executive Committee; (b) An assembly of delegates elected by the convents to consider, alter, amend, and approve or disapprove specific recommendations prepared by the General Executive Committee.
5. In trust born of the Second Vatican Councils program of renewal and reform, I hereby convoke this Congress of Religious as an authentic voice of the sisters of this archdiocese. Their past record is noble in its reading, and fruitful in its consequences. This Congress, holding fast to the treasures of the past, can open new doors. We pray that it will be an effective instrument in preparing for the Archdiocesan Synod. The Archdiocese of Atlanta joins its voice to that of the Vatican Council in praise of those
who in monasteries, or in schools and hospitals, or in the missions, adorn the Bride of Christ by their unswerving and humble faithfulness in their chosen consecration, and render generous services of all kinds to mankind.
(On the Church, #46).
6. To this purpose, I entreat on behalf of our Religious, the memory of those holy women in the Churchs history, many in our own beloved nation, and the prayer and help of the first consecrated virgin, Mary, the Seat of Wisdom.
Paul J. Hallinan
Archbishop of Atlanta