Meeting with international canonist

26 September 2018 by

Recently Paul Oakley and Gabrielle McMullen were invited by Catholic Religious Australia to meet with Prof. Dr. Myriam Wiljens.  Myriam is Chair of Canon Law at the Catholic Theological Faculty of the University of Erfurt in Germany.  Myriam focuses in her research on ecclesiological and ecumenical themes with a particular attention for canonical issues. Other areas of research concern sexual abuse of minors and the law on religious. She has worked extensively with Dutch religious women’s congregations on their future planning. In 2018, Pope Francis appointed her as a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.  Myriam has worked with Sr Mary Wright IBVM on canonical issues regarding Religious Institutes.  In coming to Australia Myriam was interested in the development of Ministerial Public Juridic Persons here and in the establishment of our Association and their place in the future of the Church.


Myriam pointed to a webinar which has already been held though the PowerPoint associated with it is still available.  Though it relates particularly to Health and to Canada much can be transferred to our own situation in Australia and all of our ministries.


Canon Law Webinar: Preserving Catholic Identity in Catholic Health Care: Facing Internal and External Pressures and Looking Forward

Webinar with Sister Bonnie MacLellan (September 19, 2018 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. EST Canada)

The webinar can be viewed online on September 19. Please, see this link:

Ensuring that Catholic health care is identifiable in a postmodern, pluralistic, and secular culture can be a daunting task. The ministry of the Church and Catholic health care has always been contextually driven, and has required negotiation, achieving what at times could be considered a tenuous balance between God’s call and the current political agenda. In light of this, the question this presentation will respond to is “How can Catholic health care in Canada continue into the future, while not abandoning essential beliefs and values?”

Sr Bonnie MacLellan is currently serving as the General Superior of The Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie. She has also served as a registered nurse and a hospital administrator, and recently completed her JCD. Her dissertation topic was “Canonical Sponsorship of Catholic Health Care in the Province of Ontario, Canada: How to Retain Catholic Organizational Identity While Delivering Quality Health Care.”