In collaboration with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), ASEC successfully held the inaugural International Consultative Research (ICR) Conference. Made possible by funding generously provided to CARA by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the ICR Conference took place virtually September 21-23 and 28-30, 2020.
The aim of the conference is to provide an opportunity for researchers around the globe to collaborate in the initiation of an international network of research on religious life.
The conference had five set objectives:
- Initiate an international network of Catholic research centers with interest and experience in studying religious life;
- Establish what research, related to sisters, their life, and ministry, conference attendees have previously and are currently studying;
- Identify and prioritize areas of research still needed regarding religious life;
- Brainstorm best methods for research funding procurement, implementation, and dissemination of findings;
- Explore opportunities for future collaboration and partnership.
Researchers from Australia, Poland, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Vietnam, India, Kenya, Cameroon, Lesotho, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and the United States were in attendance. Selected scholars from various regions presented the findings of their most recent research related to religious life.
A session highlighting research conducted by a panel of previous CARA-ASEC Visiting Scholars also took place and provided a forum to advance the CARA-ASEC Visiting Scholar program.
In addition, approximately 20 sisters serving in ASEC’s countries of operation shared their lived experiences of ministering in various communities, assisting in developing contextual research studies that are relevant and useful.
Lastly, representatives from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation presented information regarding their new research portfolio and the development of data centers in Africa.