SND General Conference 2020
November 4, 2020
We had planned to hold the General Conference in preparation for the General Chapter 2022 in India this October. Due to the restrictions because of the Corona Pandemic it was not possible to travel there, and we needed to find another solution. So just like many events during these months, also our General Conference 2020 which included the general administration and all major superiors of the Congregation was held via Zoom. Several times especially those sisters who had not yet had the opportunity to go to India expressed that they were sorry not to be able to visit our Indian sisters and their ministries and see some of their beautiful country. The conference went very smoothly. The pictures here will help to visualize the experience. As we were spread around the globe in different time zones, our meeting time needed to be limited to a few hours every day. For this reason, Participants were asked to read all reports and view all power points ahead of time. All conference material was posted in Google Drive in the different languages. Each session began with a short prayer prepared by one of the members of the general administration. The three hours online each day were then well used to discuss what had been read and viewed. The procedure turned out to be very productive and gave good ideas of how future conferences could be held.
Zoom enables participants to be broken up into groups for smaller group discussions. It has the capacity for simultaneous translation and also a function for voting which shows immediate results. For some of our participants, this was the first time using Zoom so it introduced them to a new tool in this time of coronavirus and quarantine.
One of the most important tasks of the General Conference was to determine the theme of the General Chapter 2022. After having discussed the province reports and heard about developments in the Church and in our Congregation as well as society, participants chose the theme, “Renew the Face of the Earth”…Cultivate a Culture of Encounter and Caring.