I know you have been longing for an update on the doings of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).

Right now they are meeting in Houston at the Hyatt Regency for their annual synergistic convergence! HERE


Sorry… I can’t give you an update.  They have not embraced transparency in their organization and they have rejected me when I applied for credentials to cover the meet.

I received, however, a screenshot of their set up. I think this is Facebook:



They’ve got that swirling shell thing going, the nautilus theme.

I don’t think that refers to exercise equipment.

Their theme this year:

Springs of the Great Deep Burst Forth: Meeting the Thirsts of the World

Over the years, women religious have been drawn to live more deeply out of a contemplative stance. This stance leads us to explore the world with a vision that penetrates below the surface and draws wisdom and insight from those great depths. The assembly theme, “Springs of the Great Deep Burst Forth: Meeting the Thirsts of the World,” comes in part from the account of the creation of the world in Genesis 7:11. As the Israelites named the enormous reservoir of water that they believed was beneath the surface of the earth “The Great Deep,” so we use the same name for the reservoir of wisdom that we believe can be accessed through living a life of contemplation.

This assembly will explore what is being accessed these days from the Great Deep by women religious, as well as what may be drawn from it to meet the many urgent thirsts experienced throughout the world.

There doesn’t seem to be any mention of their Spouse in this.

Who knows what could be going on in there?  Who knows what they are discussion in secret?  Will we ever find out?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Prayerful says:

    Fr Z will need to send an agent disguised as a post Catholic so we can get on the inside track regarding the Great Swirly.

    [The Great Swirly!]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  2. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Genesis 7:11 “In the six hundredth year of the life of Noe, in the second month, in the seventeenth day of the month, all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the flood gates of heaven were opened”

    Well, since “neither shall there be from henceforth a flood to waste the earth” (Genesis 8:11), I guess they feel comfortable calling for that type of flood despite the fact that “the imagination and thought of [wo]man’ s heart are prone to evil from his[/her] youth” (Genesis 7:21).

  3. Animadversor says:

    For the query Jesus OR Christ OR "the Lord" OR God OR Saviour OR Savior OR Virgin, Google returns “[a]bout 687 results (0.70 seconds).”

    For the query, we OR us OR our OR ourselves, Google returns “[a]bout 1,080 results (0.31 seconds).”

    [Good work.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  4. Cafea Fruor says:

    Maybe what Fr. Z. needs to do is take the LCWR’s wacky theme each year, choose a real Catholic theme that plays off the wacky one’s verbiage, and host his own conference in the next room over at the venue hotel. For instance, next door to Springs of the Great Deep (aka the Great Swirly), Fr. Z. could host a conference on the Sacred Heart entitled “Wellspring of All Virtue”.

    Wonder which one would be better attended by young people? Hmm….

  5. Cafea Fruor says: “Wellspring of All Virtue”

    In the Litany of the Sacred Heart we pray “virtutum omnium abyssus… abyss of all virtues”. We also pray “fons vitae et sanctitatis… fountain of life and holiness”.

  6. Animadversor says:

    Thanks, Father, for the gold star.

  7. Joseph-Mary says:

    First of all I chuckled a bit but then I thought, “I bet THEY will celebrate September 1 as the reparation to the earth thing.”

  8. acardnal says:

    It seems that the LCWR has adopted the Fibonacci Sequence, aka the “Great Swirly”, as their symbol.

  9. The Masked Chicken says:

    I am pretty sure that I could sneak in as a side dish.

    The Chicken

    [Would you cross the road to do that?]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  10. The Masked Chicken says:

    “It seems that the LCWR has adopted the Fibonacci Sequence, aka the “Great Swirly”, as their symbol.”

    Not exactly the Fibonacci series, but, rather, the Golden Ratio, φ, which is above and below approached by successive Fibonacci numbers. The evidence that Nautilus shells follow the Golden Ratio, however, is not very firm.

  11. The Masked Chicken says:

    “[Would you cross the road to do that?]”

    Well, that would be the Sign of the Cross(ing), wouldn’t it? I think one does that with Holy Water and Blessed Salt in tow, especially if there are emergent creatures on the other side.

    The Chicken

  12. benedetta says:

    I sincerely hope that their contemplation leads them to embracing an open, honest, and challenging role in political activism through unequivocally condemning the barbarism perpetrated against women and their tender children through limb ripping and other forms of outrageous torture, and become leaders in an advocacy for an authentic, compassionate, integral feminism that preserves the inherent dignity of women and children made in the image and likeness of God and smashes the manacles which would yoke us to torture and barbarism as some sort of a pretext towards equality.

  13. The Masked Chicken says:

    I am conflicted as to whether or not my last comment was uncharitable or justly-earned satire. It is always safer to assume a lack of charity. We do want the conversions of these souls, after all. Mocking them, while easy, might not be the best tack. It would be better to confront them with solid argumentation than to simply poke fun at them. I hang my beak in shame.

    The Chicken

  14. Kerry says:

    Dear, LCWR, if one “live(s) more deeply out of a contemplative stance”, ought you not to be drawn to Christ? Will you die for him…?

  15. Cafea Fruor says:

    Fr. Z.: apparently the English translation I have is bad. I’ll have to consult google for a Latin text. Thanks for the heads-up.

  16. Andrew_81 says:

    They’re trying to “summon” the “light” from the “Great Deep”.

    Somehow that makes me think we ought to restore those minor orders, especially the third one …

  17. benedetta says:

    Chicken, I don’t know, wielding sacramentals for oneself, one and all, never hurt anyone, and sometimes there is little else to resort to in taking in certain things than to call out the bizarre and the extreme disconnects. I think we are often so bombarded with much verbiage especially of an amorphous environment worshiping new age sort, and quite often at the expense of true charity, true compassion, that in our exasperation and in the apparent failure to acknowledge reality we turn to humor. As to the LCWR may the worst that they suffer in this vale of tears be some jibes from the likes of us here. Believe me, some experience much worse than that for convictions.

  18. Andrew D says:

    This problem is taking care of itself. The orders in the LCWR have no vocations. Average age now is what, 60 or 70 something? It’s time to move on from the LCWR who won’t exist 20 years from now. Here’s to the orders of holy sisters who reject feminism for Christ. These are the orders that slowly but surely are growing with vocations and need our prayers and our financial support.

  19. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    I’ve enjoyed Holmes’s “Chambered Nautilus” since grade school (though he was a creepy and baleful eugenicist), and Tennyson’s “The Passing of Arthur” for a long time, too (“And therewithal came on him the weird rhyme, / ‘From the great deep to the great deep he goes.’ “), and I’ve enjoyed, in my time, Heineken ‘refreshing the parts other beers cannot reach’ (though I now abstain given their dedication to the culture of death), but I imagine one would easily find more thoughtful attention to these sources of inspiration elsewhere.

  20. Thomas Stewart says:

    The minds responsible for scheduling any sort of gathering in Houston at this time of year are clearly deranged. Both the temperature and the humidity hover close to the century mark, a combination that will test the wrinkle-free nature of even the most rugged pantsuit. What drew them there? The local ordinary, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, is no fan, the local seminary is fairly orthodox, and the various sisters found around the University of St Thomas would drive them from campus with prayers and holy water. (If Sr. Madeleine Grace is still head of theology department, they don’t dare step foot on campus.)

    About the only local feature I can imagine that would attract them is one of the nation’s newest and largest Planned Parenthood abortuaries. If the LCWR finds that sort of thing to be a tourist attraction, they’ve fallen farther than I had dared to fear.

  21. iamlucky13 says:

    I’m afraid I haven’t got much to say other than cheap wisecracks based on the Facebook screenshot.

    “Springs of the Great Deep Spring Forth.”

    The use of the same word as both a noun and a verb in a single sentence is awe-inspiring. Between that and the symbolic association between nautilus shells and meeting thirsts, I can tell it’s going to be a great conference!

    “Miss to be with you all.”

    And with your spirit…but who is Miss to?

  22. Just for fun, I took the description of what they are doing and pasted it into Google Translate and had it converted into their version of “Latin”. Then I pasted that “Latin” back in and converted it back into English. This is what I got:

    Fountains of the great deep burst forth into the world thirsts Meeting

    The contemplative and religious -have Over the years-ended, having to live more deeply the substance. Draws the substance penetrates below the surface of this world, the visions of the thing that keeps us out of the wisdom and prudence are to explore and a great deep. The assembly theme of “the fountains of the great deep burst forth upon meeting the thirst of the world,” is out of the hands of the world in the production of Genesis 7:11. Named because it was believed that the Israelites and the huge tank under the surface of the earth “deep” lake of the same name, use the Web Abebooks wisdom believed to live can be accessed through contemplation.

    The community is the abyss of a white thing of these days in the world of labor of women religious, and from there to many people throughout the world, to meet the enemy became aware that he was so very thirsty.

  23. JerrytheYTPer says:

    Looking at the screenshot, am I the only one thinking of Lord Helix from Twitch Plays Pokemon?

  24. benedetta says:

    7:11 did you say? Well that explains it then or at least narrows it down considerably; the great deep refers to either a Slurpee or a Big Gulp.

  25. joecct77 says:

    But who can forget these ditties – any bets that they’re sung at the celebration of the Swirly??

  26. KateD says:

    My gosh this is sad. They have been so led astray.

    They could affect much more of what they seek to accomplish through a life devoted to their Spouse and to prayer.

    May God give them the wisdom, humility and strength to return to the habit and the cloister.

  27. Sonshine135 says:

    Considering the large number of shark attacks we have had on the east coast this year, the theme seems particularly apt for this assembly. Sisters could wear dorsal fin hats. Father could be the killer whale cleric and take out the great whites one by one. Unfortunately, the followers of the LCWR are the chum.

  28. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Considering the large number of shark attacks we have had on the east coast this year…”

    Have you ever seen a chicken before their morning coffee?

    Seriously, do not feed chickens coffee. It is toxic to them, because of the theobromine, which is a caffeinoid (technically, a methylated xanthine). Interestingly, there is no bromine in theobromine. The word comes from Theo (God) + Broma (food) + ine (suffix for amines). Theobromine is, literally, “food of the gods.”

    The Chicken

  29. dans0622 says:

    Congratulations to Fr. Z for finding a passage where, after cycling through a translation/re-translation, Google translate actually improved upon the original.

  30. oldconvert says:

    It occurs to me, looking at that screenshot and images, that if I were to come upon them knowing previously nothing at all about the organization, never in a million years would I connect it with anything Christian, let alone Catholic.

  31. iepuras says:

    They are meeting across the street from my office! Funny, I hadn’t noticed a bunch of religious sisters walking around…

    I don’t know why anyone would plan a conference in Houston in the middle of August. It is a sure sign of mental instability. Our terrible heat wave was compounded the last couple of nights with rain so it is even more humid than usual. Yuck.

  32. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    On the day of judgment, will these sisters have vincible, invincible, or crass ignorance? To ask the question in another way: since it seems to have been the desire of catechists across the Catholic world since (approx.) 1962 to pack heaven by so darkening the intellect that it can not inform the will, would the souls who promoted the darkening of the intellect be alone on the day of judgment, or will they have the souls of all those whose intellects they darkened?

  33. mysticalrose says:

    Is there no one here who is an aspiring or ex- liberal nun?! The shell is a FRACTAL, denoting the oneness of the whole universe giving birth to itself in a cosmic oneness! (#brianswimmeuniversestory, #omegapoint)

  34. The Masked Chicken says:

    The shell is a logarithmic spiral. Some shells may have the particular variable values for the logarithmic spiral equation that make them the subcategory of Golden or Fibonacci Spirals. All logarithmic spirals are self-similar and, hence, fractal. Fractal dimensions are non-integral. The particular fractal dimension for Nautilus shells is about 1.7 (with some variability). If one searches for Nautilus shells and fractals in a Google, one will find a paper measuring its fractal dimensions.

    Here is the Wikipedia article on the logarithmic spiral:

    The Chicken

  35. Legisperitus says:

    Um, wait, Sisters. Genesis 7:11 is nowhere near the account of Creation. It’s from the account of the Flood, in which all the fountains of the great deep burst forth (rupti sunt omnes fontes abyssi magnae) to destroy humanity. Is that what they consider an act of creation?

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