What future religious life may look like

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Thursday 23, August 2012 | Category:   Consecrated Life
We've talked about Giving Voice, an organization of younger religious sisters, on this blog before. At the recent Leadership Conference of Women Religious assembly, Sister of Charity of Leavenworth Jennifer Gordon, who has been involved with Giving Voice for a number of years, was part of a panel called "Religious Life in the Future: What Might it Look Like?" An excerpt is below. The full text is on the Giving Voice website. You can find out more about the Sisters of Charity here.

SISTER Jennifer Gordon, S.C.L.
"As a relatively new and relatively young Sister, I am frequently asked what I think the future of religious like will look like, and each time I respond that I really don't know. But I think it will look a lot like the view from the top of Victoria Falls. It looks like standing on the edge.  
  • It looks like safe houses for mothers and their children who are fleeing abusive relationships.
  • It looks like campus ministers chaperoning college students on overnight bus rides to participate in the annual national pro-life march in Washington, D.C.  
  • It looks like teachers who open their students' minds and hearts to the wisdom and the mystery of the universe.
  • It looks like Catholic hospitals and health systems learning to partner with other-than-Catholic care providers to better meet the needs of the communities they serve.
  • It looks like planting school gardens to teach elementary school children how to care for the earth.
  • It looks like retired Sisters spending hours each day in front of the Blessed Sacrament, praying for our communities, for our church and for our world.  
  • It looks like nuns on a bus, pointing out flaws in our federal budget and offering a more just alternative.
  • And it looks like the hospital chaplain who works nights, who journeys with women who have been trafficked, accompanying them as they have tattoos removed, tattoos displaying their pimps' names that the pimps had had etched into the women's inner thighs.
This, I believe, is what it looks like at the edge today.  It is to stories and to relationships like these, and so many others, that we are called as women religious."
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