Type of entity
Authorized form of name
Assembly of Women Religious, Diocese of Calgary
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Other form(s) of name
- Assembly of Women Religious
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Dates of existence
In 1979 women religious in the Calgary Diocese were surveyed to see if there would be any interest in establishing a council in response to Bishop Paul J. O'Byrne’s call for collaboration. At the end of 1979 the data was compiled and sent to a steering committee comprising Sisters Joan Wigbers SP, Kathleen Kelly SSS, Salvator Falardeau OP, Lois Anne Bordowitz FCJ and Carla Montante SP. The sisters voted 71 to 3 in favour of forming a group to support a number of functions such as communication, social, sharing, support, ongoing formation and vocation awareness. (There were 6 don’t knows). Groups already existed in Calgary and Lethbridge. The fledgling Council for Religious held its first meeting, with 50 participants, at the FCJ Convent in Calgary in April 19, 1980, when the first executive was installed by Bishop Paul with Sr. Carla Montante as chairperson. The purpose of the Council for Religious of the Diocese of Calgary was to:
- Be a vehicle for communication in the Diocese
- Provide opportunities for religious to share their ministries
- Foster mutual support and growth by sponsoring workshops, days of prayer, socials, etc.
Bishop Paul saw the ‘Sisters’ Council’ as ‘the voice for Sisters in relationship to the apostolate of our Diocese, both to giving insights into what should be done and insights into what Sisters see as need within the Diocese’. He also felt that in 1985 this had not really been accomplished.
By 1987 the Council of Religious stated that it was ‘an organ of communication and a voice for all the religious of the Diocese. Its purpose statement explained that ‘religious of different orders and congregations live and work in the various parishes or other structures of a diocese. Religious are part of the diocese and belong within the diocesan structure. If the religious are to have a voice within the diocese, they must group themselves together and from their ranks form a Diocesan Council of Religious.’
Functions, occupations and activities
The Assembly of Women Religious of the Diocese of Calgary consists of the women religious who live, work, and /or study in the Diocese of Calgary. The purpose of the Assembly is to provide an opportunity for each sister and her community to communicate with one another through meetings, prayer and social gatherings, and to provide a vehicle for the Bishop of the Diocese to communicate with the Women Religious of the Diocese.
Mandates/sources of authority
Meetings of all the membership are held three times per year, and an executive is voted into office by the sisters present at the AGM. The chairperson, vice-chairperson, secretary and treasurer all hold their positions for three years. The executive is responsible for organizing, informing, facilitating, and leading the Assembly's meetings and spiritual gatherings. The chairperson communicates with the Bishop regarding the Assembly's decisions and wishes.
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