Sisters of Saint Joseph of Annecy

World Council of Women Religious Canon Lawyers Conference


Dear Sisters, it was a great privilege for me to attend the World Council of Women Religious Canon Lawyers Conference organized by the Union of International Superior General (UISG). Five members formed an executive body [one sister from each continent plus Sr. Licia from Asia]. It was held in Rome from 30th November to 4th December 2015. The UISG along with this executive body organized the conference and eight of us (Dr. Sr. Sibi CMC, Dr. Sr. Sherin SH, Dr. Sr. Sandra SIC, Sr. Elizabeth SJA, Dr. Sr. Sabeena BPS, Dr. Sr. Mercilit SVM, Dr. Sr. Rosmin SH and Dr. Sr. Navya Thattil OSF) from India were selected along with 32 other canonists from all over the world to participate in this first International Conference. I was the only person who had done the licentiate in canon law and all the others had completed their doctorate. That is why I consider it as a great privilege to be with them all. It was due to the recommendation of Sr. Pauline and her team that I was selected. I thank God Almighty and the generalate team for this chance. While there were only one or two representatives from each of the other countries we were privileged to have eight from India.

At the Conference we discussed issues which related to women’s Religious Institutes. It was indeed an historic and thought provoking event for all of us who participated in it. The aim was to create a net work among women religious canonists in order to discuss the problems which affect women religious and to find suitable solutions in accordance with the Codes of Canon Law (CIC & CCEO).

After the international seminar, we have been asked to organize a similar net work among the women religious canonist of India. In India, we are fortunate to have more than 30 religious women who have completed either their licentiate or Doctorate in Canon law. In comparison to other countries our number is higher. Therefore we have a great responsibility to make our voice heard in the Indian Church and bring compassion and mercy to the lives of people who are in need of legal assistance from the Church. I am glad to inform you that now we are well on the way to forming ourselves as a body of Indian Women Religious Canonists to empower ourselves and form a net-work within India to help the Major Superiors of various women religious institutes. We will be meeting in Aluwye in Kerala on 3rd to 6th March for this purpose.