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.
As a network of younger Catholic sisters, Giving Voice strives to cultivate peer accompaniment and community that empowers young women religious to live their vocation fully.
Young women in religious life today, just like our Sisters before us, are seekers.
We seek to live our vocations rooted in our congregational charisms and grounded in God’s hope for the future of religious life. We seek to connect with one another to strengthen our commitment, deepen our fidelity to religious life, foster connections that sustain our vocations, and create ways to live religious life in the present and into the future.
As women religious under 50 years of age, we are often minorities in our home communities. We yearn for peer relationships with other women religious. Unlike our Sisters before us, a home-based peer group sits outside the realm of possibility and we understand this aspect of our current reality.
Consequently, it is essential that Giving Voice cultivates venues for women religious under 50 years of age to gather for prayer, relationship-building, support, leadership development, retreats, friendship, formation experiences, and ministry connections. As a grassroots organization founded and facilitated by younger women religious, Giving Voice serves as a virtual and real-time locus for the kinds of peer-mentoring and support that happened naturally in the past when there were many younger women religious in individual congregations. These ready-made peer groups served a critical role in the development, formation and retention of young women religious. As a contemporary peer-group, Giving Voice offers sacred and safe spaces where younger women religious can feel both seen and heard, affirmed and challenged in ways uniquely found in peer settings.
When we come together, the convergence of charisms leads to newness of religious life happening now. Through deep listening, meaningful encounter, and shared leadership we dream big and stretch towards new horizons. Collaborative projects and initiatives surface that call us forward to “act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8).
Giving Voice embodies this mission by facilitating retreat opportunities, regional and national gatherings, virtual means of networking and connection, leadership development experiences, and social relationships which are vital to healthy and whole human growth and religious formation. In these ways, Giving Voice serves a critical role in the formative years of younger women religious. This vital vocation venue encourages younger women religious to grow, mature, explore their human and formation development, generate creativity, participate in living religious life among peers, gain confidence, discern and deepen their vocations, discover skills, gifts and talents they have, and experience a fullness of religious life for themselves, each other, their home congregations, the People of God and all Creation.
Giving Voice reflects the diversity of contemporary religious life in meaningful ways: it is inter-congregational, intercultural, intergenerational (there is quite a continuum of life experience among religious who are 20 through 50 years of age as well as a scope of formation experience); it is broad in its expression of religious life yet grounded in its meaning; and it is life-giving to its members and to their home congregations.
In order for Giving Voice to continue to support new cohorts of younger women religious, we need religious leadership and other supporters to help us with time, encouragement, and funding. Finding deep peer relationships in Giving Voice energizes younger women religious to more fully engage the living of their vocation in their prayer and community life and in their community and ministry responsibilities. Therefore, we trust that leaders and formators both recognize the importance and facilitate the participation of their younger members in Giving Voice.
Giving Voice is for seekers. Giving Voice is for younger women religious seeking to remain faithful to God’s call, seeking to deepen their response and seeking to strengthen their connections as the women religious of today and tomorrow.
Giving Voice is grateful to the committee of younger sisters who worked so diligently in helping the organization articulate its renewed purpose in the current context of religious life!