Over the last two summers we have heard the call from two of our sisters who have served in the Presidency of LCWR.  They have called us to look to the future, to ask the big questions and to weave a new narrative.  Over this next year, we hope to use the US Federation blog to share insights that our associates, agrégées, friends in the charism, partners in mission, and sisters offer to us. So first we set the stage.

marcia allen

I her LCWR President’s address (Click here to read the whole address) in 2016, Sr. Marcia Allen stated, “First, the process calls for an all-encompassing question. Next we stretch our question across the horizon but begin to look at the horizon/question out of the corners of our eyes. Then we talk to one another in an intense exchange of what we’ve seen in our peripheral vision.

After all the rational has been tried; after the solutions have been articulated and failed old language turns to ashes in our mouths, then we are reduced to silence. That is when hope is activated. In the belief that something will come of the ravages of collapse, hope is forged. Against a far horizon, revealed obliquely in the periphery, the big question begins to emerge already articulate in new language. In the exchange with one another you began to see clearly what you are creating and why; that is, you began to see where the exploration of reinvention begins.”

For us the big question is What will the be the essential elements of religious life in 2030?  According to a new TRENDS analysis in 2030 we may number 1553 Sisters of St Joseph in the US and there may be 6 congregations.  These predictions may or may not come true but they give us a demographic picture as a base of our imagining.

Sr  Mary Pellegrino co facilitatator for the processIn her LCWR Presidential Address ( Click here to read the whole address) in 2017, Sr. Mary Pellegrino challenged us to let go of old narratives of religious life and start sharing the new narrative that we are discovering.  Here is a portion of her address: “Yet these former narratives have not all passed, and the new narratives have not all emerged.  I believe that we’re living religious life in a liminal space in which our real work – the work of all of us together, all of us living this life – is to assist passing narratives about ourselves to pass in order to open space for what’s emerging to arrive.  This is hard work, long work and undefined work. 

One of the more substantial narratives about religious life that I believe is passing – and urgently needs our assistance to continue to pass - is the diminishment narrative.  A narrative that seems to be emerging in its place – and what urgently needs our assistance to open the space for it - is what I call a narrative of deepening communion.”

So we invite you to articulate what you believe will be the essential elements of religious life in 2030. What will be our narrative of deepening communion?  How will we spread the charism of unifying love? 

Send these reflections to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the word Blog in the subject line.  Feel free to add pictures, drawing, whatever you think will help express your emerging thoughts.  Usually a blog is between 350 and 1,000 words. It is our hope that we will receive enough of these reflections to post on the blog twice a month.  We urge readers to take the opportunity to respond to these reflections.  As Marcia noted it is essential that we talk to one another about what we are seeing in intense dialogue.

Click here to read the first reflection offered by Sr. Patty Johnson, Executive Director of the US Federation.