Today on the invaluable site of NCFishwrap we learn that at the meeting of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) the gathered sistren are turning to a brand new plan in the face of their dwindling numbers.
Here are a few excerpts.
Accompanied by the sound of bells, they encircled her as she stood in the center of the stage. Then all 600 sisters in attendance extended their right hands as they chanted a blessing: “Receive strength and light; receive power, receive love.”
This reframing of the “tried and true” verbal introduction was a fitting prelude to the message Bracamontes delivered — that traditional ways of exercising authority and power are breaking down and new structures of equality and shared responsibility are emerging.
Well! That‘s new!
I am looking for photos or, oh please oh please oh please, video of that. I’ll make the popcorn.
Here is the insight the LCWR’s special speaker brought about breaking male-domination in the Church:
“To practice a Gospel alternative,” she said, “we need to de-construct the domination-submission model that most of us have internalized and which is an underlying condition of our cultures.” [1 Tim 2:11-15]
To illustrate her point, she told of two Mexican seminarians who were delighted to have their hands kissed by parishioners during a Holy Week mission. When she questioned them about their attitude, they said they’d been taught not to resist this sign of respect. Calling this attitude part of a “clerical culture” that needs to be reformed, she said, “I suggested that at least they could offer to kiss the person’s hand in return as a sign of mutual respect.”
You can see they are confronting the big issues of the day even as elitists they run down the customs of the poor devout faithful. If men do it or like it, it must be stopped.
This is a great example of the the FFLF (Female Fun Limitation Factor, defined as that effect produced on one or more males having fun when a female of any age asks in that special tone of voice, “Do you really think you should be doing that?”, and in all its variations, especially through The Look and other non-verbal signals.)
But wait! There’s more from LCWR:
“Once we realize that cultural models are human creations and, therefore, can be changed and adapted, we become more creative and dynamic in our search for transforming alternatives: other worlds become possible, other ways of being church become possible, other forms of religious life become possible.” [To seek strange new worlds where no man has gone before!]
She called on women religious to probe “Christian Memory,” to make the conscious choice to be attentive to the groans of the divine “Ruah,” the breath of God, that “is hovering over the darkness of our decaying civilization, yearning to bring forth the light.”
They are facing down male institutional domination. I wonder how it is working out.
In another story, here, I read that they are exploring the complexity of the birthing metaphor, and – I am not making this up – the fecundity of chaos.
QUAERITUR: Why do some institutes of religious women have vocations and others have none?
BTW… scroll down here and look at the comments about SNAP in their combox over at Fishwrap.
UPDATE 2113 GMT:
Commentator APX found the photos page! KUDOS!
Here is a sample… little tiny photos….
Here they are gathered in “circles of contemplation”.
They do seem to be contemplating themselves, no?
I don’t think the Horst Wessel Song played any part in this.
And I don’t think the Horst Wessel Song has ever been played on a guitar, so let’s rule that out right now.
What we also discover from that page is a letter from The White House… really! Look!
Among other things the LCWR is congratulated by the signers for help with the health care issue. You remember, the big White House initiative a while back during which the Magisterium of Nuns defied the US bishops and helped POTUS pass something that would ultimately provide federal funding of abortion? Yah… that’s the ticket. The White House letter is signed by Joshua DuBois, Executive Director and Special Assistant to the President from the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and Alexia Kelley, Deputy Director and Senior Policy Advisor for the
White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
And I know this will surprise everyone. the LCWR gave an award to Sr. Keehan!