Saturday, February 22, 2014

Future: Next Exit

I love this sign.
With all the talk about the future and where we are headed, I can begin to wonder when and where that future will begin. One sister offered the notion that we really need to talk about the present. Where are we now and what do we want and need to be building to support the members of our community now and to support those men and women who are joining us.
So I ask myself: what is my exit? Who will I find there ready to build vibrant community? When Jesus sent the disciples out two by two, I'm sure they were challenged to find the way to bring the gospel to new and different towns. Today, we bring the good news of religious life to new and different generations, to new and different social places.
Without map or GPS, I have to tap into the God of past, present and future who will guide my footsteps and choices as I move forward. The path is made by walking it. And it is a gift to be present in this time of chaos, ambiguity and grace.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

All this life and heaven too: Quiet savouring

All this life and heaven too: Quiet savouring: Today I'm celebrating the seventeenth anniversary of the day I made my first vows. As anniversaries which don't end in a 0 or 5 rare...

Silvana, thanks for this reminder of the amazing journey we are all on.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Community Living

Some of the challenges younger religious are feeling regarding religious life in the coming decades:
* It's heartbreaking to have to choose either to go where we feel a need or to go where there is healthy, life-giving community. Why should we have to choose?
* Questions abound about where to put our energy. Do we give our all to maintaining the things that are (institutions, aging sisters, etc.)? Is that why we entered? Where is the deeper need of our lives going to be met?
* Some questions to ask each other and the younger members of our communities: Do we want to live together? Is there a ministry that we would like to start together? What are our common interests? Do we have dreams for the use of any of our buildings?
* Do we need some sort of nun Craig's List to facilitate knowledge of where open community spaces and ministries might be?
* How can we connect in person maybe for short periods of time (spring breaks, vacations, retreats) to deepen relationships, support one another, and build community for the future?
Some questions, ponderings that we shared in a recent conversation.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


In the next twenty years or so, the size of religious congregations will shrink significantly. I trust that there will eventually be a revival in religious life, but I do not know when it will happen. In the meantime, my sense is that the new generation of young religious are called to be a bridge that will span this gap. What we have before us now is an opportunity to learn from the past and to prepare well for the future. When people look back on our time, I hope that they will say this is what we did.... read whole post...
This is a great post aboutThis is a great post that speaks to the in place we find ourselves in religious life today. I find inspiration in my own community's founding generation. A group of six women who said "let’s do something for God together." I think that story has been repeated time after time in that beginning moment of most of our religious institutes that exist today. I have a deep conviction and commitment to work together to building community, do mission and to work for sustainability and for justice. This has many names: the beloved community, communities of praxis, places where it is easier to be good, communitas...

It is is a blessing to live life together with others who are personally committed to God, and deeply committed to living Gospel values. This is the type of community that we seek to build in religious life. Vowed life in community and in mission is a privileged place to build this type of community. At the same time, the efforts we make to live community support the spirituality and mission of each of its members.

Most religious institutes are half the size they were 20 years ago. In another twenty years, they will be only a fraction of their current size. At the same time, I believe that there will be a small contingent who will continue to respond to the call to do something for God - together.