From the Executive Director

During his annual address to the Roman Curia last month, Pope Francis emphasized the need for those in authority to serve humbly and co-responsibly. When discussing the themes of the 2023 Synod, he noted:

“In the diversity of our roles and ministries, responsibilities will differ, yet it is important that everyone feel involved, co-responsible for the work, without having the depersonalizing experience of implementing a program devised by someone else… Authority becomes service when it shares, involves and helps people to grow.”

What does it mean to share, involve, and help people to grow in the context of leadership in a religious community? It is impractical, unmanageable, and sometimes even imprudent to share everything and involve everyone. Chapters and elections, though, can provide vision, leadership, and management in a way that is meant to help people to grow more deeply in the charism, life, and ministry of the community as well as individually. 

One way to go about providing this help humbly is through fostering co-responsibility within community and in ministry. As Pope Francis said, “responsibilities will differ,” but involvement of all is the goal. The involvement is not only in the doing, but also in the development and way of implementing. While this may appear to be an ideal, it is something to strive toward, led by the Holy Spirit.

In prayerful solidarity,

Frank Donio, SAC
Executive Director

This is an excerpt from the January Items of Note. Items of Note is a monthly email for CMSM members and partners. If you are not receiving Items of Note once a month via email, please email