Personally I'm fueled by regular contact with our Solidarity with Sisters group as well as with a few other organizations and communities; plus facebook and email and Pinterest; plus routine checks of several websites; plus art (seeing and doing, especially using a Benedictine book I'll tell you about later); plus.....
Well, you get the idea. I am lucky to have many sources of nourishment. Even so, sometimes I find it hard to join LCWR "in joyful hope." But....
Suppose I wasn't wired in with church-related networks? Suppose I was frustrated with the church but had no friends with whom to learn about signs of hope like LCWR?
Christina Pesoli, from Austin, Texas, wrote "Why this Catholic girl is praying for a schism" in Huffington Post on August 30, 2012. She's aware of church issues. She's frustrated and disaffected.
But she doesn't present herself as closely connected to others in the same boat (allegory intended). She may not read NCR, America, etc. She may not be part of a community of mutual care and continuing spiritual learning.
She became, for me, a symbol of people who have a hunger but no community to feed them - no ready source of inspiration, information, and connections. This includes many currently active Catholics as well as former Catholics. People who might long to know about what LCWR is doing, and how we follow them in the news and, to some degree, in our own prayer life, dialog, and solidarity with the marginalized. They might be nourished by knowing about this!
But how would they find out?
How would the (millions?) of people in that situation learn to see "LCWR" not simply as a hot-button issue but rather as a group of live women who are modeling a path we can walk together in faith and hope?
What Christina Pesoli finds, on her own, is that Melinda Gates is a Catholic with compassionate, principled common sense. True, and beautiful!
Does Ms. Pesoli also know that this is exactly what LCWR does, and that many Catholic communities live that way? Does she know that Melinda Gates is active in a vibrant Catholic parish near Seattle?
Ms. Pesoli's article recognizes an INDIVIDUAL path of responsible belief, but not a "church community" path.
How can we - you and I - become a more effective community "of joyful hope," uniting with LCWR and Catholic sisters in contemplation, dialog, prophetic lives and voices, and solidarity with marginalized people? Is it time for us to reach out? How?
We are working on an overhaul of this website and our facebook page to make it more valuable for this purpose. But "it takes a village"....:
What should this mean for us?
I'd value your insights, via comments below or private email to firstname.lastname@example.org.