I have been networking very intentionally with other young and middle-aged religious for some years now. Our conversations are always very rich and grace-filled. This blog is a result of those conversations, the result of my own prayer and reflection and the result of my lived experience of religious life at this time.
At this point, we know that religious life has changed radically
in each of the last several decades, and that it will likely change
even more radically in the coming decades. My ministry calls me to
journey with communities that have come to accept the reality that
their community's life journey is coming to an end. They come to
embrace this reality with amazing courage and grace, and the
realization brings them a great deal of peace and freedom. Accepting
their current reality, they can fully live the final decades of their
community's life journey with grace and integrity.
It is a privilege for me in ministry to walk with the sisters
and the brothers whose communities have made these decisions. With
disarming simplicity and courage, they see the things they gave their
lives to coming to an end, or better, given over into the hands of
competent, committed lay people.
More and more communities come to this place of acceptance and
peace with their own completion. In many of these communities, there
is a small cadre of sisters in their 20s, 30s 40s and 50s, still in active
ministry, still vibrant. We acknowledge the decline of the largest
generation of religious ever to live and pray and serve in the USA.
In the midst of this reality, I am coming to find my hope, my
strength, my joy in the inter-congregational networks of sisters:
Giving Voice and Sisters 2.0. I am coming to value both
my deep and lasting relations with my home-congregation, and the rich
and vibrant relations across congregations.
I discover and celebrate a 'sisterhood' that is bigger than any
one congregation. I have a deep joy when I think of these sisters, women of
faith, women of courage and women of hope. Intelligent, well-educated
and broadly experienced, these sisters are taking up the challenge of
carrying religious life into the heart of the 21st century and
May we cherish the sacred trust of our communities, live it with
joy and share it generously. Pray with us. Pray for us. Join us.