being congregation

Our groovy religious congregation has 3 provinces. We were founded in 1884 in England (Sacred Heart Province). Within a few years we were also on the East Coast of the US (St Joseph's Province). And by the 1890's we were in the Pacific Northwest as well (Our Lady's Province).

There has been a movement in recent years, and increasingly so, to "be congregation." That is, rather than act & think on province levels, to pool resources, thoughts and membership for our common vision. Of course it is partly spurred on by the aging population of Sisters, but it's also aided by the shrinking of our world with technology and the information age.

My being in the Congregation Novitiate is an exciting chapter in this movement towards "being congregation." We have 2 novices from the West and 1 from the East. When/if we have novices from the UK they'd be here for their Novitiate as well.

There are other ways that we're experimenting with this "being congregation" thing. Yesterday we had a synchronized prayer/reflection/discussion in all 3 provinces for our Fall Assembly/Province Days. One of our Sisters from the West gave a presentation in the English Province. She had previously recorded her presentation, and so the Sisters on the East Coast and in the West watched the same presentation on the same day. More than that, we used the same prayer and reflection resources. We did the same thing last Fall (although then I saw her live in the Western province).

It's hard to explain it, but there's something to this being congregation. I could feel the energy of all the Sisters & Associates in the Congreation - whether they were thousands of miles away or sitting next to me in the Auditorium - as we prayed and discerned together.



Anonymous said...

Lovely blog. Nice post.
James M

Anonymous said...

That's one of the things I really like about the Domincan Order. It's bigger than just individual congregations, though we're each independent entities with our own histories (some intertwined, some not). there is constantly a sense of the larger worldwide Order, even including the Brothers/Priests. I love this!