Every two years, the Giving Voice community hosts a National Gathering to provide space for Catholic Sisters under age 50 to build bridges across communities in a peer-led setting to deepen relationships with God and each other and to foster growth, leadership skills, and a vision for the future of religious life. During our 4-day gathering we will experience the joyful presence of our shared sisterhood and discern together how we are called to live religious life now, by boldly celebrating the beauty of communion.
I recently attended World Youth Day’s one day event in D.C. with my friend and Sister Kelly. For me going to participate in this day was about bringing a modern presence to what I correctly assumed would be a gathering of traditional Catholics. The moment which stands out to me most from that day was a woman Kelly and I met at the Vocation Coffee House.
At the invitation of a Giving Voice friend, Sister Julia Walsh, I spent my annual retreat at Marywood Franciscan Spirituality Center located in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. How fitting to spend part of my time in Advent winter solitude reflecting on my time as a Giving Voice Core Team Member. I began my time on the core team 2 months after I took final vows in 2013, and during that time I have served with 13 different sisters from 12 different communities.
For the past several years, Giving Voice has been on the forefront of engaging with the critical questions facing religious life and our greater society. Among the tools and ideas sisters have found life-giving and successful are the The Circle Way of hosting non-hierarchical conversations and meetings, and the Two Loops Model which presents a model to explore how systems change.