The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) is going to hold a virtual “assembly” this year, rather than gather physically. Understandable. Indeed, virtually all of them are vulnerable to the worst results of COVID, given their average age. The LCWR claims that their conference has 1350 members which are 80% of the the roughly 44000 women religious in these USA. These are, in the main, the orders and congregations who are slinging to life now, after they went down the progressivist to chase the spirit of Vatican II. They, for the most part, abandoned their habits and much of their founding vision, and adapted to the world. Their vocations numbers are low. The are dying out. They are, sadly, struggling for relevancy and air.
On the other side of things, the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR), smaller but far more vital, have communities which are growing, even bursting at the seams. At a glimpse you can get a feel of the differences:
LCWR website screenshots:
CMSWR website screenshots:
The LCWR 2020 Assembly (12-14 August): “God’s Infinite Vision: Our Journey to the Borders and Beyond”. Their “Assembly Resolution” reminds me of that paper title generator: “Creating Communion at the Intersection of Racism, Migration & Climate Crisis”. Their Assemblies are open only to members and certain hand-picked media.
I didn’t see a title or fancy resolution for the CMSWR meeting in September. But I did notice they are having a Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia in October and their flyer says: “Jesus in the Eucharist: Increase Our Faith”. The congress is open to everyone.
At Fishwrap there is a story about the upcoming LCWR Assembly. I liked this part.
To streamline part of the virtual process, LCWR members have already voted on a new president-elect: Sr. Jane Herb of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Monroe, Michigan, will join the triumvirate presidency at the end of the assembly.
She will join the “triumvirate”. The trium-VIR-ate.
It’s melancholy business reading the site of the LCWR.
Meanwhile, back at the CMSWR there’s this trailer for a film about vocations to the religious life for women…
The demographic sink hole that is opening under the Church, accelerated by COVID-1984, is going to hit religious life.
Which group, of the above, has the best chance of weathering the storm?