In Between the Not Anymore and the Not Yet (Part II)

I shared my own reflections in living community in the 21st Century both at the Giving Voice Conference and in the Newsletter. Over the next few days I'm going to excerpt my relfections here. Here's part two:

What my heart tells me is that when I am in my 50s, 60s, and 70s, we will be smaller, but also freer. Freer to live our charisms more deeply and less institutionally. Freer to be more creative about what we even mean my living community. Freer to cooperate more across congregational lines and with the larger church and world. When I dream of that future, I feel both blessed and challenged to be living religious life at this time in our history. My deepest longing is that together, we can faithfully and creatively live into the “not yet.”

To be quite honest, what I am less excited about, although I can imagine it more clearly, is the in between time—the next 10 to 25 years when we say goodbye to so many of our dear friends and wisdom women. As the remnants of the large novitiate classes of the 50s and 60s start to age gracefully, those fewer of us “younger ones” will need to shift to more of a caretaker mode. We will be caretakers not only for these women we love deeply, but caretakers of the dreams, passions, charisms and very future of religious life.

My deepest longing for this in between time is that we—those gathered at Alverno and our friends at home—can be community to each other across congregational lines. How can we support each other as we hold onto the dreams, passions and desires that led us to religious life and our Congregations in the first place? How can we be present to each other in the process of Luisa’s image—as we experience the dyings, the transformations and the birthings at the same time?

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