By Br. Bernie Dubé, SDB
(New Rochelle, NY – July 26) – The Religious Brothers Conference (RBC) took place from Monday, July 18, through Thursday, July 21, at Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center in Madre Sierra, CA. Br. Tom Sweeney and I participated along with Brothers from ten different communities throughout the USA.
The theme of the Conference was "Religious Life Going Forward." The Keynote speaker was Sr. Rosalia Meza, the senior director of the office of religious for the Archdiocese of LA.
The three topics that she presented were: 1.) The beauty of the call we have received as consecrated religious, 2.) the role of the religious during this time of significant change, and 3.) the future of religious. The discussions that took place after each presentations were very fruitful and thought provoking.
The second presentation that was presented by the board was on creating sustainability for the future. This presentation was made by one of the board members from the work concerning the reshaping of RBC’s purposes and goals moving forward. Three committees were set up to help in answering questions that concerned membership and presence; communication, marketing, and social media, and social justice. After they presented the goals and purposes for each committee, the members were asked for their input and to volunteer for one of the committees to help in enhancing the goals and purposes. By having attended the conference, both Br. Tom and I felt encouraged in our vocations and learned about other aspects of religious orders. It also gave us the sense of hope in our religious life moving forward.
The conference is held yearly. Next year, it will take place in the eastern part of the country. We hope to see more of our Brothers attend in order to grow and appreciate our Brother vocation and to meet Brothers from other religious communities.