Saturday, October 27, 2012

Forming Intentional Community

The Fellowship of Intentional Communities is a loose network at the service of intentional communities of various types that are established or just forming. Many of the communities share common characteristics including a commitment to justice and sustainability. Individual communities are invited to post about their community and to give some basic information about location, community description, governance, economics, etc.
I posted a listing on the group's website, giving some basic parameters for forming a community with other sisters from my own or other religious communities. I would hope to take the first steps in this project in 2013 with a few others who interested, and ready and able to commit to beginning such a project.
There are several communities already established in the St. Louis area which are listed on the site and they could be great places to collaborate in building up similar communities. In addition we have a group of Catholic Worker houses in the area, and they have great energy for building sustainable faith-based communities.

Friday, October 19, 2012

What would you say?

Trust that God is leading you through your deepest desires. There's still a bit of confusion these days about what it means to have a "vocation." People expect to have a vision, or hear voices, or to know with 100 percent certitude where to go. But often it's a simple attraction to a way of life. So if there is an order that someone feels called to, check it out, talk to the vocation director, go on a retreat, visit the house and get to know its members. It's not as if you're in this alone: God is leading you... Read more...

Nones on the Rise

SOJOUNERS: The Pew Forum recently released a new study, “Nones on the Rise.” This was not about my friends called the “Nuns On The Bus,” who just did a tour around the country focusing on social justice. Rather, It details the concerning trend of those in our country who have given up on religion altogether. 
Social scientists tell us that adults, especially young adults, are increasingly disconnected from our established religious traditions. “Nones,” the Pew forum calls them, have grown from 15 percent of U.S. adults to 20 percent in only five years. One-in-three adults under 30 check the religious affiliation box, “None of the above” or “Unaffiliated.” Despite the fact that 68 percent of nones believe in God, only 5 percent of them attend church once or more a week, and 22 percent attend monthly/yearly. Read more....

MY RESPONSE: Jim, Thanks for the article highlighting the Pew data and the compelling analysis of their numbers and its meaning for those of us who are religiously affiliated. The "Nones" remind me of a phrase that I'm sure I'll misquote from John Paul I: Atheists don't so much reject God, as they reject the false idea of God that they receive from believers. These numbers encourage me to live an authentic Christian life. But not a life that acknowledges uncomfortable truths and then settles for living a comfortable life. This is more about always striving to live more justly, more sustainably, more from a stance of personal contemplation and conversion. It is about speaking the truth to power only when I've first struggled to live that truth myself, acknowledging my own complicity in the wrongs I try to right. That doesn't mean I quit talking, but that I speak more softly, more humbly, inviting others to walk the path of conversion with me. I'm thinking of another Pope quote: "People today listen more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if we do listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses."
In religious communities and other faith-based intentional communities, we can commit ourselves to living the Gospel deliberately and conscientiously. Banding together with others affords us mutual support in the commitment, and it gives encouragement when we are weaker and challenge when we are tempted to compromise.

Friday, October 12, 2012

How to be a Nun

A Quick Guide for Intrepid Explorers, Scared Survivors and Those Who Don't Know

by the Colletine Poor Clare community
at Ty Mam Duw, North Wales
Please bring:
- the willingness to learn
- to hope
- to trust
- and to live on God's promises
Read on....

Occupy Catholic

I’m Sister Susan. I am an Occupy Catholic and a nun. Nuns have been criticized lately by the hierarchy of being radical feminists and too involved with social justice. Hmm — sounds like Occupy? … To me it seems that Occupy and nuns are allies in the struggle! And I know many other nuns who were in the encampments all over the country with you! God Bless Occupy. Read more....

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Vatican II Anniversary - What Are We Doing about it?

This is a video from a Canon Lawyer - before you click away - take a look at it. Ladislas Orsy, S.J. talks about the Vision of Vatican II - its miracle, its surprises, its hope, its ongoing invitation....

Yes. Yes. Yes.

I want to respond to the last point about each of us finding the thing that we can do... and doing it. I totally agree and for me, that one particular thing is hearing the call to 'rebuild my church' within the context of religious life.

Women religious in the US are at a major turning point. We are challenged to find a way forward, even as many of our institutes are declining and facing their historical completion. This fact is not failure, it is merely a fact, a reality. But that fact calls us to live this completion intentionally, graciously and with dignity.

At the same time, many of us younger women religious are coming together to discuss and to ask where we are called to be and to do religious life in the 21st Century. As we come together, we ask ourselves, what is religious life? what is its place in today's world? what is the role of religious life in living forward the vision of Vatican II and of the Gospel itself?

We are called to be mystics and to nourish a deep spirituality. At the same time, this mystical element is the essential foundation for our prophetic vocation - the call to live radial Christian community, the call to serve in ministries that bring God's light to the concrete darknesses in our world today and the call to speak God's Word in this time.

I believe my part is to articulate and share this vision and network with others who resonate with it. That is the inspiration behind this blog and various groups who are gathering to share the emerging vision of religious life and to live this vision into reality.