Sunday, August 19, 2012

Occupy Religious Life - Action

Several sisters gathered in Chicago, IL July 29-Aug 2 to engage in conversations about the emerging future of religious life. During that time we Occupied the Sisters of St. Joseph Federation Novitiate House.
On Monday, July 30, we held a web conference to expand the conversation, offering the opportunity for a broader exchange. The seven participants came from both coasts and across the country.
We opened with a check-in. A poem set the tone for some shared contemplative space. We used the words shared earlier on this blog: I do not seek to follow in your footsteps, I seek what you sought. (Basho) This was followed by a 'Did you know?' section in which we shared links and resources on emerging religious life and news on religious life. See the links in the sidebar.
We then shared our hopes and dreams for religious life. Our spirits soared as we gave voice to the spirit and named our dreams. Some were very concrete, some were more distant and abstract. We put the notes in a wordle which is at the top of this post.
I think it is significant that the largest words were SMALL, COMMUNITIES, WORLD, LIFE, TOGETHER.
Acknowledging that religious life will be smaller in the future, we named our desire for life together in communities. Communities are a privileged place to live the gospel and share prayer and life. In communities we support one another in our commitments to an ever deepening contemplative practice, to radical christian life and to service. In addition, our life together is at the service of the wider community whom we serve by prayer, witness and ministry. In community, we seek to live the values we want to bring to the world.
--Susan Wilcox (for the Occupiers)


  1. Your words echo the sentiments of many people of faith. To live in relationship surely needs small communities. In communion with each other we can imagine that we belong to something larger but to go from one to everyone in one step is too much and too little.

  2. Yes, I agree. Many people are coming to this insight about what is needed in today's world.