Saturday, December 28, 2013

Changed not Ended....

The young sister near me—dressed in a colorful tank top, shorts and sandals—speaks from her heart. Young Catholic sisters, about 70 of us, sit in small circles and engage in deep conversations throughout the sun-lit room. As I listen, I scribble her thoughts into my journal: Why are women drawn to religious life? In the past the visibility drew many; now the inner call and voice and dream move and call us forward. We get to let go. We are free. We are eager.....  --Julia Walsh

Thanks Julia for sharing your enthusiasm for religious life and for its promise. It is a vibrant but challenging time to engage in this life. That's probably true of every other age of religious life, and true of almost any commitment worth giving your  life to. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

LivingVoice - SistersRising

A group of us have been exploring relationships and pro-actively engaging the next 20-30 years of religious life. Many things will happen, many things will change. We will grieve the loss of most of the women religious alive today.
We Are...
  • A peer-led, self-organized space for visioning and fostering future oriented initiatives for religious life 
  • Inspired by Giving Voice and its circle process 
  • Established and committed finally-professed women religious 
  • Born after 1955 and generally born before 1975 
  • Trusting the spirit to gather the women who are meant to join this movement.
We will welcome new paradigms, new models and new energies that are emerging.
We are also continuing to search for a name, for now, we're using a lot of tentative names, and we can see what sticks: LivingVoice, SistersRising, VisionSpace... any other ideas?

Among the projects we are envisioning are:
  • VisionSpace July 5-7, 2014 @ Marcella House/New Beguines, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed. Jn. 20:29 - Guided Retreat
    • This Guided Retreat is an opportunity for women religious who entered after Vatican II to reflect on their call to consecrated life in a time of tremendous change, experimentation, uncertainty, and diminishment.  
    • Presenter: Janet Gildea SC
    • Sunday, June 29th – Saturday, July 5th, 2014
    • Maris Stella Retreat Center
  • Summer Sisters
    • Inviting women religious to form intentional community with women interested in religious life for 3-5 weeks over the summer. Living, Working and Praying together. 
    • Community practices include: shared meals, shared prayer, large active organic garden, sustainability practices, justice actions. 
    • Summer 2014 @ Marcella House/New Beguines, St. Louis, Mo.
    • Email for more information or to register.
  • On-line forum 
    • To be determined
  • Quarterly Conference Call
    • Next call is March 18, 2014 - (between St. Patty and St. Joe), 6pm Central
    • Email for more information or to register.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

When Your Truth and My Truth are Different

Let’s say that life involves crossing a forest–a huge, positively bewildering forest, with trees and rocks and grass and flowers and streams running every which-way and caves and blind canyons and some mountains tossed in.  We’re trying to cross this forest, most of us without a map, essentially on our own and also knowing beyond a doubt that we will die mid-journey.

This would all be really, really depressing if it weren’t for the fact that crossing the forest is so dang much fun.  I mean, think about it; we never have any idea what might be around the next rock or tree.  And we’re constantly meeting other journeyers and sometimes stopping to chat or play.  What an adventure!  What an amazing thing!...  Read more....

This is a really helpful image of people, pathways, respect and grace.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Developing Future Leaders

I've heard a lot about leadership development in religious life. There are various configurations of sisters who are putting on programs  on leadership for their members under the age of 60. Here's a great article on the topic, written by one of the world's leading management experts:
ADIZES: We have three words in our topic: “developing”, “future”, and “leaders.” Let me first talk about the future and then about what it means to be a leader in the future. Finally, I will address the issue of leadership development. - See more at:
We can't predict the future, but we know it will be different from today. Systems of power are collapsing under their own weight. New players emerge and relationships change and we will need a leader in every chair. New leaders can't know all that is needed, but they can listen, they forge relationships, they can be flexible, they can build networks of influence and mutual support.