2019 National Assembly Discerning Our Collective Witness

An Extraordinary National Convocation of Major Superiors of Men | August 6-8, 2019 | San Antonio

All U.S. major superiors of men, councilors, and their program leaders are encouraged to attend this special National Assembly as we discuss the future of religious life in the United States. We will have a candid and engaged conversation about religious life and leadership. Join your brothers for fraternal review, reflection, and talks as we prepare ourselves and our institutes to be effective in carrying forward the prophetic witness of religious life.

We will explore the changing needs of leadership and religious life in four areas: (1) impact of the last 20 years on religious life and leadership, (2) leadership formation, (3) changing dynamics impacting religious life and leadership, and (4) balancing ministry demands and personnel resources.

Registration is Open for Major Superiors of Men, Councilors, and Other Institute Representatives

Your registration for the Conference of Major Superiors of Men 2019 National Assembly includes materials, receptions, coffee breaks, daily continental breakfast, Wednesday luncheon, Mass and tour of the historic Mission San Jose, and our Thursday social and banquet. CMSM members are encouraged to bring councilors, as well as younger members who will be the future of religious life.


See the schedule. This year, we will meet Tuesday morning through Thursday evening. We will not hold the usual Pre-Assembly Workshop so we can focus completely on this year's important discussion. We are offering three Monday afternoon (Aug. 5) early-arrival workshops on border ministry, restorative justice circles, and communications. Each is limited to 20 people. Details are below.

Riverwalk, San Antonio, Texas

National Assembly Highlights

  • Mass at the historic, 18th-century Mission San Jose, celebrated by San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, M.Sp.S.
  • Panel discussions with teams of major superiors and younger religious
  • Presenters including Fr. Ron Rolheiser, OMI; Abbot Elias Lorenzo, OSB; Fr. Ted Keating, SM; Fr. John Bartunek, LC; and more!
  • Small group, regional, and full-group discussions
  • Early-bird workshops on Monday afternoon - restorative justice, border ministry, and communications & media (scroll down for details)
  • Facilitation by Jim Lundholm-Eades of the Leadership Roundtable
  • Election of a new president, vice-president, and at-large Board positions

Scholarships are Available

Learn more here.


The National Assembly will be held at the Omni San Antonio at the Colonnade, which offers a $125/night rate for attendees, as well as a free airport shuttle.

Mission San Jose

Mass and Tour of Historic Mission San Jose

We will visit this 18th century church – an active Franciscan parish and part of a national historical park – via bus for Mass celebrated by San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, M.Sp.S., and a brief tour. The mission dates to 1720 and the current structure was completed in 1782. Mission San Jose is the largest of the historic Catholic missions and represents the history, and continuing presence and ministry, of men religious in North America.

Early-Arrival Workshops

Please pre-register for these workshops (see the Assembly registration form)

Encuentro Migrant Experience (August 5, 1-5 p.m., 20 participants) - The Marists in the U.S. and Mexico developed The Encuentro Project in El Paso following a General Chapter decision to push to serve on the margins. The program primarily educates groups about the realities of immigration and the border through visits, meditation, and spiritual accompaniment, and provides direct service to applicants for asylum. Brother Todd Patenaude, FMS, program director, will provide insight into the process (that he co-led), which resulted in this new ministry. Participants then will have an immersive experience, journeying as a migrant would, gaining insights into the push and pull factors that lead to migrants leaving their homes. Participants also will learn practical ways their institutes or ministries can bring this immersive experience home to provide direct assistance to migrants after they leave the border.

Introduction to Restorative Circles (August 5, 1-5 p.m., 25 participants) - Restorative justice is a way of understanding crime and wrongdoing in terms of the people and relationships impacted. This approach fosters encounter that heals, transforms, and reconciles. Circles are a foundational restorative practice that can be used in instances of harm and various areas of ministry for community building, mutual support, and discernment. Participants will get an overview of our Catholic call to restorative justice and applications for circles in ministry and civic life, as well as experience circles and discern opportunities to use them within community life and ministry. Catholic Mobilizing Network mobilizes Catholics and people of goodwill to end the use of the death penalty, transform the U.S. criminal justice system from punitive to restorative, and build capacity in U.S. society to engage in restorative practice through education, advocacy, and prayer.

Communications Strategies (August 5, 2-4 p.m., 30 participants) - You know communications are important, but are your efforts working? Learn essential, low-cost (and free) communications tools and strategies to increase the effectiveness of your internal and external communications, plus how to become a media pro with some simple tips and techniques for working with media and giving interviews. This will be a practical and interactive workshop led by CMSM’s director of communications, who has more than 20 years experience in communications strategy, focused on Catholic organizations.

Questions? Interested in Exhibiting?

If you have questions about the National Assembly or registration, or if you are interested in exhibiting or sponsoring the CMSM National Assembly, please contact Susan Gibbs, sgibbs@cmsm.org | 301.588.4030 x 233 | 202.525.9554

We Thank Our Sponsors

Saint Luke InstituteChristian Brothers ServicesPraesidium

Shalom CenterSouthdownServants of the ParacleteLaboure Society

Workshop sponsors: Catholic Mobilizing Network • Marist Brothers

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a copyright violation, please follow the DMCA section in the Terms of Use.