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Requesting an autobiography from those making formal application to a religious congregation has been a common practice for years. What if the autobiography became a tool for discernment, rather than simply a document submitted, read, and then filed away never to be referred to again? The Autobiography: Revived, Refreshed, and Renewed will explore how vocation and formation ministers can re-imagine the autobiography, designing it as a valuable tool that can be used throughout the entire formative journey.
2021 Congress Seminar: In Their Own Words: Wisdom for Formators from Newer Members (Michelle Lesher, SSJ)
Women and men entering religious life today come from rich and various backgrounds, cultures, ages, and life experience. What truly transpires for them when they enter into formation with our Congregations? During this session we will have the graced opportunity to explore the world of formation through the lens of some of our newer members. What has the journey been like for them? What have they learned? What are their hopes and desires for this very significant life experience? What do they need from us? What do they want us to hear and to know?
This presentation will (1) identify four core myths about the U.S. Catholic Church and its foundational relationship to the African American community as it relates to the transatlantic slave trade, slavery, segregation, and the long African American freedom struggle and (2) demonstrate why historical truth telling about the Black Catholic experience must inform and guide any Catholic interrogation of white supremacy and reparation project.
While a religious vocation is deeply and profoundly personal it is essentially a vocation to a public, communal life of prophetic witness – both in the Church and in society. In her address, Sr. Mary will explore the prophetic dimension of our lives as public theology and reflect on its need and meaning in a deeply divided Church and society. She will suggest implications for both individual and communal formation and transformation.
The process of forming initiates into religious life can be understood and approached in various valid and useful ways. Some imagine the process as spiritual companioning, others liken it to an apprenticeship, while still others take a more instructional approach. Without critiquing any of those, this presentation will consider the process of religious formation – initial and ongoing – through the frame of ritualization.
Our time has been called “The Age of Migration.” This presentation begins with a brief survey of migration as a global challenge to our society and the church, with reference to Pope Francis’s teaching and example. Next, explores the image of Jesus as the Primordial Migrant who shares the fate of all migrants. The last part offers suggestions on how religious formation can prepare people for ministry to migrants.
Part of the formative journey involves gaining a deepening understanding of a congregation’s charism and its implications for living in community, one’s prayer life, and apostolic service. In this seminar Fr. Frank Santucci, OMI will provide best practices, tips and tools for those with the responsibility to teach founders, charisms, and Rules. In what ways can formators and new members journey together in unpacking and deepening the charismatic gifts and graces of their community? This session will explore that question and offer practical insight and resources.
The groundbreaking book, Migration for Mission: International Catholic Sisters in the United States (Oxford University Press 2019) by Mary Johnson SNDdeN, Mary L. Gautier, Patricia Wittberg SC and Thu T. Do LHC, illuminates several aspects of the lives of over 4,000 sisters from six continents (83 countries) who currently minister or study in the United States. The study, upon which the book is based, involved surveys and interviews.
It surprises many that North America is experiencing a rapid and significant increase in intergenerational living arrangements. Some are choosing to live intergenerationally out of need. Others are embracing what is termed “cross-generational communities” that welcome toddlers to seniors, promising each age cohort the support and resources needed to thrive.
In this workshop Dr. Galleher focuses on ways to develop deeper intimacy and connection in community life. She presents practical approaches to deepening our understanding of one another within community and across generational and cultural differences and ways to resolve conflict that cultivate compassion. Video topics include: (1) rich community life and how to cultivate it, (2) group development, (3) going deeper, vulnerability and compassion, (4) healthy confrontation and conflict, (5) reflection and sharing on day.
Conversations at the Well: Crossing-over to Meet the Other and Oneself Acting on the Journey of Transformation The call to transformation and to “reading the signs of the times” can simultaneously elicit deep attraction and provoke corresponding resistance. In this workshop, beginning Friday evening, participants and the presenter will explore the shadow and the journey of consciousness; crossing over from repression and fear to humility and integration. Praying dangerously, acting radically, living the gospel will fuel the crossing to personal and communal transformation.
Conversations at the Well: Crossing-over to Meet the Other and Oneself
Preserving Patrimony on the Journey
(What do we take? What do we leave behind? What if we haven’t time/opportunity to choose?)
Join the Religious Formation Conference for its 60th Anniversary Celebration: From Center to Periphery: Relocating the Prophetic Witness of Religious Life at one of the locations throughout the United States listed below. In these gatherings, we will celebrate our heritage, reflect with expert and engaging presenters and with each other on the implications of our call to mission in the 21st century, and continue our lifelong formation as women and men challenged, in Pope Francis’ words, to fly from the nest to the frontiers, to wake the world.
Fifty years after the close of the Second Vatican Council, its key concepts, most notably, aggiornamento, the Italian term for “bringing up to date”, as well as ressourcement, a critical engagement with the current situation in light of the lessons of the past, continue to capture the imagination of the contemporary disciple in Christ's mission. Our day will be spent in prayerfully exploring Christian world mission in light of the current signs of the times, in an attempt to discern where the Spirit is leading our religious communities.
Hope is a powerful emotion that arises from the most basic human longings – it is a life- sustaining force, rooted in relationship and our relationship with the future.
As Christians, we believe the Scriptures are God's living word given to us to sustain our faith in every age of our human history. So once again, in this 21st century, we turn to the Scriptures to find the inspiration, strength and especially the HOPE we need to sustain us in our daily lives, particularly in times of doubt, struggle, and suffering. And in this year dedicated to consecrated life, we look to the scriptures for the hope we need to face the challenges and questions that confront religious life today.
Even though hope is essential to human and Christian life, very little has been written about it in comparison to faith and love. Faith sees what already is, while hope sees what is yet to come. Charity loves what already is, but hope puts its trust in what is not yet here. Living in very dark times, hope is a most important, necessary and rare virtue.For Christians, for vowed Religious, “hope” is linked to the person of Jesus Christ. Consequently we would do well to give greater attention to the precise nature of Christian hope. What exactly is it?