Friday, September 25, 2015

Women of Strength

In a special way I would like to express my esteem and my gratitude to the religious women of the United States. What would the Church be without you? Women of strength, fighters, with that spirit of courage which puts you in the front lines in the proclamation of the Gospel. To you, religious women, sisters and mothers of this people, I wish to say “thank you”, a big thank you… and to tell you that I love you very much. (Pope Francis Sept 24, 2015)
The Pope has expressed his support for women religious several times in the last few weeks. The message helps me to focus on the central call of our lives, to live and proclaim the Gospel. To be women of faith, who live a particular call within the community of faith and for the community of faith. We have the gift and the responsibility to live lives deeply committed to the Gospel, to spirituality and to the mission of Jesus.
What a joy to see crowds of people taken up with the enthusiasm of the Pope's visit and his simple but profound message of faith and joy. I hope to take time in the coming days and weeks, to read and reflect on the messages that he has brought in his various messages. If you want join me in reflecting on the messages, check the Vatican website here.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Wisdom, Insight, Hopes and Dreams

Giving Voice is a peer led organization that creates spaces for younger women religious to give voice to their hopes, dreams and challenges in religious life.
Many of us "2.0 Sisters" were in the founding generation of Giving Voice, and some continue to be part of that group.
So we want to give a shout out to them as they enter an important phase in the development of the organization. They are inviting their sisters into a strategic planning process:
Dear Sisters,
We are very excited to share with you an opportunity to participate in the planning process with Plante Moran who will accompany us as consultants as we look to and create the future of Giving Voice and the Communications’ methods and tools needed as Giving Voice moves into the future. The goal of conversations is to gather the wisdom, insights, hopes, dreams, ideas and suggestions from a representative group of GV membership.  This data will be summarized and shared with the GV membership in order to articulate a vision for GV as it moves into the future and to develop a communications’ plan that will ensure this vision and goals. Read more....
Please share this far and wide, and especially invite any Sisters you know, who are 50 years and under, to take part in the initial round of conversations.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Navigating Change

Navigating Change
Navigating Change could be the name of the ministry of assisting Religious Communities as they face an uncertain and challenging future. It is also the name of my new book, which is an interdisciplinary exploration of walking together in our communities through the shifting sands of time.

We have the privilege and challenge of living through a time when religious life is facing serious numerical decline. This is a challenge to us to assist communities of sisters and of brothers who have given their lives in dedicated service to those most in need in our church and in our world. We can help them live this moment and help them celebrate all that has been.

As we engage in this hospice work with loving gratitude for all that has been, we continue to live in a vibrant present, inviting men and women into our communities to share in the grand adventure of religious life. Sharing spirituality, community and mission, we are a microcosm of Church and society, with the same joy, hopes and struggles. And we add the additional dimension of committing to be that difference we hope to see in the world around us.


Saturday, September 5, 2015


By focusing on the large cohort of sisters in their 70s and 80s, are we not forgetting the dynamic energy of those sisters in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s? As we look to the emerging future, are these not the sisters, especially those ages 20 through 55, who will develop this future over the next 20 years? If these sisters are relegated to the future, how can they create that future?  --Linda Buck in GSR
Thanks, Linda, for giving voice to an experience of many of us in religious life today. I do feel that another shift is also taking place.

For some years now, the conversation among women religious in their 40s and 50s has begun to shift from the future to the present. Together, we created Sisters 2.0 as a place to house this shift. We begin to see a movement from talk to building. How can we actually build the networks that we need to support those of us here now? And how can these networks also serve to build bridges to support those who are joining this important movement in our Church and our world.

This shift is inevitable. It cannot come too soon. And it gives me joy as I celebrate the gift that religious life is to me and is to my "2.0 sisters."