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What does dialogue with the modern world mean



Brother Seán Sammon’s presentation to the UISG

31/03/2009: General House

On Monday, March 2nd, Brother Seán Sammon was invited to give a presentation to a gathering of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG); his topic: Consecrated life: today and tomorrow. This group, which meets on the first Monday of every month, had invited Sean over a year ago to be with them for this event. More than 100 were in attendance.

The program consisted of two presentations, some group discussion, and an open forum for questions.

Several areas were covered in the presentation: a brief history of renewal since Vatican II, with attention paid to the fact that the modern world that the Council anticipated had ceased to exist within five years of the close of that historic meeting. Student demonstrations in Europe, North America, and other parts of the world, the sexual revolution, Humanae Vitae, the independence movement that swept across Africa, the birth and rapid expansion of information technology, etc. brought into existence a world that the Council did not and could not have anticipated.

This question was posed: what does dialogue with the modern world mean within this new context? Issues such as modernity and post-modernity were discussed in light of the work of renewal that faces us today. Other topics included charism and leadership, understanding the evangelical counsels in a new way, and the need for the virtue of hope as we move into the future.

This presentation was part of a year-long series offered by the USIG to its members. The group invited Sean for a follow-up session that may take place later this year.

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