I heard a story recently that has become a mantra for me in these early days of Lent. It's the story of a four-year-old girl named Mary whose favorite possession was a strand of fake pearls. Mary wore her pearls everywhere - to preschool, to bed, in the bathtub. One night, Mary's dad came into her room to tuck her in and asked, "Mary, do you love me?" Surprised, Mary responded, "Yes, Daddy. I love you lots." "Then give me your pearls," her dad said. Mary offered her father any of her games or toys but protested that she couldn't possibly give up her pearls.
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In my religious congregation, the Ursuline Sisters of the Roman Union, we have circle groups comprised of different members across our various provinces. These circle groups communicate monthly with each other through shared prayer and conversation on various articles, books and life events. Just the other day, my circle group met via conference call and we discussed Lent and our reactions to it.
We hope many will join us at our 2015 National Gathering. The planning team is hard at work planning a great event. We will be focusing our time on the theme of "Crossing Boundaries in Religious Life" Lots of dynamic sharing on current issues in religious life and connecting with your peers will take place. Our gathering will be held at the Savior Pastoral Center in Kansas City, Kansas.
Giving Voice, in partnership with Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, is seeking to engage a consultant who will help the GV organization define and establish a realistic five-year strategic plan.
The group wants to develop more, easier and better communication among members to further relationships and the organization. GV also desires to help younger Catholic Sisters be prepared to assume leadership positions within their communities, ministries and the Church. The organization is also interested in its sustainability so it is looking into the identifying and expanding funding sources.
This project will provide younger women religious the opportunity to engage in creative visioning, strategic planning, relationship building, leadership development, technology awareness and attending to the identified needs of younger sisters within the Giving Voice network. More information is below.
Sisters 2.0 is a movement of the new generations of women religious. In this peer-led, self-organized space, we network for visioning and fostering future oriented initiatives for religious life. We feel the need for creating spaces for conversation where we can share the experience of the new generations of women religious in today's communities, today's church and today's world. Sisters 2.0 is a place for engaging in conversations about where we are today in religious life, and where we are headed.
Giving Voice is very thankful to all the women's congregations that have given donations to us so far during this 2015 year. You can find a list of supporting congregations on our website. Without you the work of Giving Voice would not be possible.