Religious Life in the Twenty-First Century – Book Project

Juliet Mousseau, RSCJ, and Sarah Kohles, OSF, are pleased to announce that the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is funding a writing process that will result in a book on religious life written by younger Sisters. The Sisters of St. Francis of Dubuque are supporting the book project by serving as the fiscal agent. Srs. Mousseau and Kohles are the editors of the project.

There is very little written by younger generations of women religious about the realities of formation and discernment in today’s world. The most recent works that address religious life and the vows in particular are written from the perspective of religious of an older generation. While these materials are helpful, newer members often find that they are also searching for perspectives of Sisters who share their generation and life experience. This project seeks to fill that void by inviting women religious under the age of 50 to write about the essential elements of religious life—particularly the vows—from their experiences and from reflection on contemporary scholarship. By providing a forum for common prayer, reflection, writing, and discussion, this book will emerge as a collaborative effort of women religious from a variety of perspectives.

Eight Sisters from eight different communities have already committed to the project. The goal is to have as diverse a group of Sisters as possible, where diversity includes community charisms, ethnic and racial diversity, ministry, age, temporarily or finally professed, as well as the choice of wearing a habit or not. Approximately a dozen Sisters will participate.

Sisters participating in the project will begin monthly discussions in the fall and meet for a week-long writing retreat in January 2017. Publication is expected in the summer of 2017.