Rome 1997 - 1999


The delegates from the 19 regions were called to Rome to discuss their questions with the Abbot Primate.  They made the first steps towards giving their circle a structure and a mandate by approving draft statutes and electing a moderator for four years.


The 120 participants of this 3rd international Symposium from September 5 - 12, came to Rome from 36 different countries from Australia to Vietnam. The theme this time was "The experience of God and the Benedictine approach to prayer." Both terms: "experience of God" and "prayer" express a deep desire which characterises people of today. The Benedictine approach to the "indescribable land of the experience of God" - that became apparent - is more a road of mundane steps in faith rather than a path into the exceptional. This spiritual tradition puts the emphasis on Lectio Divina, Liturgy, alternation of work and prayer, belief in the presence and guidance of God.  It is important to put these steps into practise, to live with full awareness and to share one's experiences in whatever way the context allows.

After the Symposium the delegates from the 19 regions had a meeting at which they decided to meet every year. 

dance of the Africans

participants from Brasil
with Sr. Judith from USA

M. Maíre, the moderator of the CIB


















The first annual meeting of the delegates from the 19 regions took place outside Rome.  The invitation to meet in USA - a step involving an unusually long trip for European sisters and which needed some courage to take up - proved to be an overwhelming experience of generous hospitality in the spirit of St.Benedict in a context of moving liturgies and open sharing. Experiencing at first hand the deep Benedictine spirituality of the American sisters helped to break down many misunderstandings from the past and enhanced respect towards one another.