May 9, 2019
On Saturday, May 4, religious sisters from different congregations and across multiple generations gathered in the Cedars Auditorium for a panel discussion on the book In Our Own Words: Religious Life in a Changing World. In all, over 100 people (including some discerners, Associates, friends and family members of Sisters) showed up to hear from four of the 13 authors of the book and to participate in table and large group sharing. The panel of authors included Thuy Tran, CSJ, Amanda Carrier, RSM, Mary Teresa Perez, OP, and our very own Tracy Kemme, SC. Each woman took a few minutes to share about her experience of writing for the book and about the contents of their respective chapters.
For those who don’t know, In Our Own Words was a collaborative project of women religious in North America under age 50 from diverse congregations, backgrounds, and ministries; and the book is a collection of essays about issues central to apostolic religious life today. Some of the recurring topics throughout the book include the vows, intentional community, individual identity, congregational charisms, and leadership.
In both the book and in their panel presentations, the authors shared about their personal experiences of discernment, formation, community life, ministry, and the challenges and joys of religious life. Overall, there is a tone of hope and excitement for the future of religious life and a rootedness in the mission of Jesus that connects us across congregations and charisms. In Our Own Words was a project centered on diversity and collaboration, as was the gathering in Cedars that Saturday morning. Let us now continue the conversation by inviting others to share their sacred stories. Let us listen deeply to each other as we venture deeper into the divine mystery of religious life in a changing world.
S. Whitney Schieltz
Debunking Religious Life Myths
It’s National Vocation Awareness Week! Throughout the week the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati will be refuting myths about vocations to religious life.