United States Conference of Secular institutes

2017 Summer Mountaineer

Secular Institutes

Dear Friends,
Our summer Mountaineer is a little bit later than usual this year because we wanted to share with you the experiences we had participating in the Convocation for Catholic Leaders sponsored by the United States Bishops’ Conference.
Eight USCSI members attended and we also had an exhibit, sharing what our vocation can mean for the Church and world. We were proud to be with the diverse group of Catholic leaders who were challenged to become missionary disciples and carry Christ and his Church to the periphery of our society.
Two things became clear to us. First of all, our vocation as consecrated seculars places us squarely in the peripheries where we can discern the needs of those who are marginalized and seek to answer their needs in the name of Christ.
And secondly, our vocation is not well known. We did our best to engage others in discussion about secular institutes and hand out our USCSI pens and refrigerator magnets. Most were open to hear of this opinion and a few even thought it might be what they were personally looking for.
Unlike other conferences the emphasis of the convocation was on
listening to the audience, not the speakers. Round table discussions and networking during the breaks were really where the fruit was harvested. There was time at the end for each delegation of a diocese or organization, to plan what and how they will do to take this message back home.
May this be an impetus in the new evangelization in our country to take the admonition of Pope Francis seriously to proclaim the Gospel of Joy.
Marcia Vinje

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