Despite hundreds of years of conflicts, religious sisters throughout Vietnam have increased to about 4,238 perpetually professed sisters; 3,735 temporary professed sisters; 1,014 novices; 1,088 postulants; and 3,106 aspirants. Few religious have received official formation and advanced education, and thousands of others are unable to do so because they do not have enough capacity to train them. The sisters in the positions of leadership and formation lack communal resources of leadership and collaboration among women religious congregations in the region.
The Congregational Leaders of Women Religious in Northern Vietnam, founded in 2006, includes all 22 congregations in the country. The purposes of the Conference are to provide leadership training for the sisters through semiannual workshops that assist the sisters in developing competencies to implement projects and initiatives that aim to enhance the lives of unfortunate children and women who have been suffering from poverty and illiteracy; and to develop models for implementing and enhancing collaborative ministry programs among religious congregations in the North of Vietnam.
A grant from HFS was awarded to fund speakers and workshops on women’s leadership role in the Church, human resource management, and spiritual leadership in the challenging times. The goal was to improve their leadership skills in the current context and assist other sisters to serve more fruitfully in their ministries to the vulnerable.