7.12.2014

New Global Sisters Report Column: Shifting Conversations in Religious Life

My latest monthly Horizons column on Global Sisters Report was posted yesterday! I actually wrote it last month when I was visiting my CSJP Sisters in Seattle. The topic of this column is one I've been reflecting and writing on for some time now, namely moving away from a focus on "diminishment" in religious life and instead focusing on what I sense is one of the particular gifts of this time in religious life, demographic change.  Here's a snippet:

I’ve been inviting sisters I know, young and old, to abandon the “D-word" in favor of a more descriptive term –“demographic change.”  For one thing, as it is more descriptive rather than value based, the term is less energy zapping than the “D-word." ... 
When we focus on diminishment, we focus on what it is that we think we are losing. When we focus on demographic change, we can look lovingly at our reality and ask curious questions. What might God be up to with this radical shift in the landscape of religious life? What choices, actions, and plans can we make now that might help us to receive God’s gifts for religious life, for the church, and for the world? Are we likely to find easy answers to these questions? No. But I suspect that by shifting our focus to the gift of demographic change, we will be better able to access the creative energy of the Holy Spirit.
Visit the Global Sisters Report to read the whole column.  I'd love to know if this resonates with your experience or if you see this time in religious life differently.

2 comments:

Dominican SistersConference said...

Hey Susan, Thank you so much for your article and especially your take on the "D" word. This is a REAL concern in our communities these days and more of a concern for the 'younger/newer'. I am considered younger - almost 60, and newer - entered 20 years ago. We need to change the language -- and i think your article is great! so thanks!
aneesah

Susan Rose Francois, CSJP said...

Thanks so much Aneesah!