Inter-Congregational Partnership Necessary to Address South Sudan’s “enormous needs”: Nun

Sr. Patricia Murray. Credit: Courtesy Photo

A Catholic Nun serving at the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) has, at an online book launch, underscored the need for partnerships among members of Religious Orders and Societies of Apostolic Life in addressing the “enormous needs” of the people of God in South Sudan.

Addressing participants at the Thursday, April 21 event, Sr. Patricia Murray also highlighted the role of Solidarity with South Sudan (SSS), the initiative of UISG and the Union of Superiors General (USG), established in response to a request from the members of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SCBC).

“I think today it takes inter-congregational collaboration to respond to the enormous needs that we face today in our world and particularly the needs of South Sudan as the country builds the new future,” Sr. Murray who is the UISG Executive Secretary said.

Recalling the collaboration of Religious Congregations in South Sudan under the auspices of SSS, the member of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also known as the Loreto Sisters said, “We went from one Diocese to the next and we saw the devastation of war and we saw what was needed.”

“No single Religious Order could take up the challenge or could respond to this call, and therefore there was a clear sense that something new was needed and we needed to collaborate together,” she said during the launch of the book that details activities and projects of SSS published under the title, “Collaborative Mission in South Sudan: Towards a New Paradigm.”


Credit: Courtesy Photo

Making reference to the USIG and USG meeting of 2004, Sr. Murray, the founding Executive Director of SSS said, “That congress really called for a new paradigm of mission and new ways of collaboration, open and flexible collaboration between Congregations.”

She added, “Solidarity with South Sudan and this book in telling the story of South Sudan somehow gives us signs towards the future of this journey that we as Religious and as Religious Congregations are engaged in today.” 

“The launch of this book is very important because it traces the memory of all those involved and those who care about South Sudan and the many to whom this will be a new venture,” she added. 

Also speaking during the book launch, Sr. Maria Cimperman expressed gratitude to South Sudanese “who welcomed people from all over the world”, and thanked women and men Religious “who listened and were in conversation with the Bishops of Southern Sudan and started seeking ways to help.”

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Sr. Maria Cimperman. Credit: Courtesy Photo

“It truly is an incredible example of listening to the spirit and communal discernment,” Sr. Cimperman added.

The Director of the Center for the Study of Consecrated Life (CSCL) further said SSS is part of the understanding of “the fundamental importance of our mission realized in accord with our particular and shared charism in finding new prophetic initiatives.”

“New forms of presence and ministry and many existential peripheries have blossomed in South Sudan,” Sr. Cimperman said, giving the example of “the proliferation of volunteer initiatives in which Religious men and women are involved.” 

The Associate Professor of Catholic Theological Ethics described the phenomenon of “volunteer initiatives” among members of Religious Congregations as a “synergy of renewed Apostolic dynamism” that renders “more effective their responses to the great challenges of our time.”


On his part, Fr. Josè Cristo Rey Paredes highlighted the importance of mission in the SSS project.

Fr. Josè Cristo Rey Paredes. Credit: Courtesy Photo

“The story of Solidarity with South Sudan tells us of such an experience that is very significant for Consecrated Life and for understanding mission and the communities shaped by the mission from the new paradigm,” Fr. Paredes said.

He added in reference to the new book, “The story that this collective work offers us speaks of inter-congregationality. It is not only a reflection about inter-congregationality, but a real inter congregational purpose. God has called not only one Congregation, but different Congregations.”

The Claretian missionary Priest further described the SSS initiative as a “new paradigm of mission as the Holy Spirit is inspiring us. The new way of thinking about missions for a time not forever is what we have to maintain and spread all over our planet.”

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Hard copies of the book are to be availed during the UISG Plenary Assembly scheduled to take place at SSS office in Rome from May 2. 

The pdf version may be purchased at:

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.