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 here. This year, we will meet Tuesday morning through Thursday evening (closing with the banquet sponsored by Saint Luke Institute). On Monday, registration begins at 12 noon, early-bird workshops are from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. (Encuentro) and 2 p.m.-4 p.m. (communications). The New Leader Orientation is at 5 p.m., and Saint John Vianney Center is hosting a reception at 6 p.m.

We will not hold the usual Pre-Assembly Workshop this year so we can focus completely on this important discussion. The Pre-Assembly Workshop will return next year.

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. John Bartunek, LC; Bro. Larry Schatz, and more!
  • Small group, regional, and full-group discussions
  • Early-bird workshops on Monday afternoon - border ministry and communications strategies (see below)
  • 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.

Encuentro Migrant Experience (August 5, 1-5 p.m., up to 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.

Communications Strategies (August 5, 2-4 p.m., up to 20 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 Susan Gibbs, 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 CMSM National Assembly or registration, or if you are interested in being an exhibitor or sponsor, please contact Susan Gibbs, sgibbs@cmsm.org | 301.588.4030 | 202.525.9554.

We Thank Our Sponsors


Saint Luke InstituteChristian Brothers ServicesPraesidium


National Catholic Services, LLC (Virtus) • Salesians of Don Bosco (Canada and Eastern USA)

Shalom Center • Legionaries of Christ


SouthdownServants of the ParacleteLaboure Society

Boston College School of Theology and MinistryMarist Brothers

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