SCNs Joel Urumpil, Roselyn Karakattu, Joicy Joy and Sudha Jonnalagadda participated in the National Convention of the Forum of Religious for Justice and Peace held on Sept. 22-24, 2022, on the campus of Montfort Social Institute, Hyderabad. Present also for the meeting were a few representatives from the transgender community and Tashi, a Buddhist monk at Gaya. She led the gathering through a meditation focusing on inclusiveness.
In her keynote address, Sister Nirmalini AC, the president of CRI, stressed on the need for an overhauling of religious life that finds its foundation in the Gospels, particularly in the verse “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Matthew 19:21).
We were led to a deeper conversation with each other as we listened to Sister Nirmalini quoting Neale Walsh “Yearning for a new way will not produce it. Only ending the old way can do that. You cannot hold onto the old way. You cannot hold onto the old, all the while declaring that you want something new. The old will defy the new. The old will deny the new; the old will decry the new. You must make room for it.” In conclusion, she remarked, “On this our journey of faith there is no ‘one size fits all. It is an invitation to walk with each other, to listen to each other and accept our vulnerabilities. To be able to respond to the signs of the times today, we need to work together in collaboration for issues of peace and justice.”
The book “The Kuravilangad Case: A Critical Study” by the Forum was released during the session. During a session that was set aside for the sharing of experiences by senior and younger members of the Forum. SCNs Joel and Joicy had the privilege of sharing their experiences of reaching out to those in the margins and deprived of justice.
The members of the Forum also:
- Resolved to continually deepen their identity as radical disciples of Jesus and have the prophetic courage to respond to the signs of the times
- Pledged to ensure personal transformation as the first step towards social transformation. “Internalize and actualize the values enshrined in the ‘Constitution of India’ giving it due place in our formation, catechesis and in all our ministries.”
- Resolved to continue to strive to build more inclusive communities, transcending the religious, caste, gender and ethnic divisions and every form of sectarianism.
“The National Convention energized and inspired me and I am more challenged to focus on the issues and take the prophetic stand,” said Sister Joicy Joy of the experience.