Thursday, September 28, 2017

Religious Life for a Sister of St Joseph in 2030- My Sense of What Marcia and Mary are Talking About

I discard the old narrative- we are not dying, we are transforming ourselves and it is happening in ways I did not necessarily expect.  When I look out of the corner of my eyes at the periphery on the horizon I seen amazing things happening and they do begin to paint a picture of deeper communion.
Three words come to me when I imagine us in 2030: flexible, collaborative, and engaged. 

Sr. Marcia Allen at LCWR
TRENDS software indicates that maybe we will be 6 congregations in 2030.  I don’t know about that but what I believe strongly is that we will find a way as a Federation to support each other as our numbers of consecrated religious decline but our focus on and commitment to the charism and the mission continues to expand.  It may be that we have covenant relationships or mergers but what I imagine is that we will create new structures that enable us collaboratively manage the day to day in an effective way while innovating new ways to engage with those who join us as agrégées, associates, friends, partners in mission, and consecrated religious to see the big picture.  I cannot imagine being a Sister of St Joseph without these powerful alliances with the women and men who also claim our charism.  The flexibility to invent what we need to move into the future will be the hallmark of our collaborative style.

Speaking of collaboration, I imagine us forging new collaborations with people we do not yet know about issues that have not yet emerged.  Where we are needed, we will put our energy and focus. No longer do we need to be the leaders and have our name on everything we touch.  However, where we chose to spend our time our energy, resources, and zeal will be felt.
Sr. Mary Pellegrino delivers her
Presidential Address at LCWR 

International relationships are an essential element of our life in communion.  As we are smaller, we will know each other including our Sisters of St. Joseph around the world.  The US needs us to hold a global view and be able to speak with credibility about issues such as caring for the earth, global poverty, and emerging spiritualties.  We are stronger in all these areas when our global vision is formed through genuine relationships especially with those from the global south.  

Jean Pierre Medaille S.J. left us the legacy of the two trinities, the maxims and the 6 virtues. These can only really be understood as mystical documents.  Through our ongoing contemplation of these initial documents and our reading of the signs of the times, we will be able to communally discern a future together with all our partners.