In the fall, many Sisters are in periods of transition, whether it be through ministries, school, moving locations or making vows. This is a constant gift and challenge in the lives of Sisters. Core Team member Jessi Beck asked our Giving Voice network to provide bits of advice, wisdom and stories from what Sisters have learned during times of transition.
As a member of Giving Voice invited to be present at LCWR, I thought my role would be to make my voice heard. Giving Voice was among several groups who were requested to be present at the table as LCWR strives to discern how it is called to move into the future and who will move with them. Implicit in the invitation was our job to speak for younger sisters in religious communities--those whose voices are often not heard by leadership because they can be drowned out by the far more numerous older voices.
This summer, I experienced the past, the present, and tasted the future of Religious Life today. I started my journey in June with the Past, through a traditional pilgrimage to Europe which we Dominicans, call Lands of Dominic. Even though it was a short and fast version, as one of my Sisters and I were our own travel agents, it was simple, inspiring and profound.
This summer, over 80 sisters from 50 different communities of Catholic women religious gathered at Fontbonne University in St Louis for a fantastic National Gathering exploring the theme “Boldness and Beauty of Communion: Living Religious Life Now!” The gathering was planned by a team of 7 Giving Voice Sisters and 2 lay women, led by Co-Chairs Julia Walsh, FSPA, and Mary Perez, OP. We are dedicating this July newsletter to reflections by Sisters who both attended the gathering and who joined us in spirit. Check out their reflections, National Gathering Media clippings, the gathering’s program booklet, and photos from the gathering!
A month ago, 80 of us gathered in St. Louis, MO for the Giving Voice National Gathering (GVNG). The title of the gathering was Boldness and Beauty in Communion. I am reminded by Pope Francis’ words: “Architects and painters, sculptors and musicians, filmmakers and writers, photographers and poets, artists of every discipline are called to make beauty shine, especially where darkness or drabness dominate everyday life. They are custodians of beauty, heralds and witnesses of hope for humanity, as my predecessors have repeatedly stated. I invite you, therefore, to care for beauty, and beauty will in turn heal many wounds that mark the hearts and souls of men and women today.” Here are some of my experiences of being surrounded with boldness and beauty in communion.