The International Union of Superiors General (UISG) and the Union of Superiors General (USG) held their first joint assembly in May. Fr. Brian Terry, SA, participated in the historic event.
Since 1952, when the first Superiors General met, it has been an international forum where they share experiences, exchange information, and accompany each other in their service.
The purpose of the USG is defined in the statutes as follows: “To promote the life and mission of the individual institutes at the service of the Church, for a more effective collaboration among them, and for a more fruitful contact with the Holy See and the Hierarchy.”
The roots of UISG are actually to be found in the pontificate of Pope Pius XII who called an extraordinary meeting in 1951 of superiors general who had generalates in Rome.
The purpose of this meeting was to initiate national councils of religious. In fact, the Rome group did begin to meet and it is the result of their meeting which established Regina Mundi, the pontifical institution which first allowed women religious to study theology in Rome.
Toward the end of the Vatican Council, dialogue between the Council fathers and the then Sacred Congregation for Religious (SCR) underscored the need for an international forum for women religious as they began the process of renewal. From the outset, the purpose of UISG was to create an international forum, a way for women religious to be in dialogue with each other, with the Church autnorities and with global organizations.
The original group that led the UISG between 1965 and its first Plenary Meeting was appointed by SCR. They knew that their purpose was to initiate the organization and to organize the first meeting.