LCWR and CMSWR: compare and contrast

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?

Please share this post!
Share

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, Women Religious and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to LCWR and CMSWR: compare and contrast

  1. Fryer Eric says:

    The tagline on the website says it all: “God beckons to us from a future rich in possibility”. Such pablum! God is here, now and Our Lord taught us to pray “thy will be done” today, to ask for our daily bread. Is not the whole life of grace simply the cooperation of the soul with God’s action in the present moment? Perhaps I’m making too much if a silly banner, but as one who often gave in to the sin of acedia and put God on hold, as it were, it really saddens me to see such a misleading phrase, especially from religious. Lord have mercy!

  2. Fryer Eric says:

    The tagline on the website says it all: “God beckons to us from a future rich in possibility”. Such pablum! God is here, now and Our Lord taught us to pray “thy will be done” today, to ask for our daily bread. Is not the whole life of grace simply the cooperation of the soul with God’s action in the present moment? Perhaps I’m making too much if a silly banner, but as one who often gave in to the sin of acedia and put God on hold, as it were, it really saddens me to see such a misleading phrase, especially from religious. Lord have mercy!

  3. If I was a betting man…I’d place my marker on the latter as being the future of our consecrated orders.

    The difference in the look in their eyes says it all. One is tired and worn (probably from all those years of carrying protest signs and getting in the face of the hierarchy), the other full of life since they look on the face of Jesus every day and draw strength from him, not the acceptance of the world.

  4. Gaetano says:

    If only they’d been allowed to fully implement the Spirit of Vatican II…

  5. ThePapalCount says:

    In 25 years this will be gone. Because they will be gone. The traditional orders are and will flourish.
    I came across a website for a federation of St Joseph’s sisters in Canada. Their site is all about going “green” and protecting the environment. I went through their pages. No mention of Jesus Christ or the Blessed Mother.
    Just a henparty of senior women trying to be relevant. No one is listening to them. They’ve lost their way. They have closed most of their convents and their motherhouse is up for sale.

  6. CatholicNerdGirl says:

    The really sad thing is that there are some amazing, holy Sisters in these LCWR groups and they suffer unimaginable persecution.

    Reach out to some of these poor Sisters; they need us.

    They are elderly and powerless to change the situation.

  7. jz says:

    The Saint Cecilia chapel shown a couple times in the video is one of the most moving places I’ve ever been to – and I’ve been to Rome a couple times. Listening to the sisters chant Compline, especially the Salve Regina, is an amazing experience every Catholic should have.

    https://www.nashvilledominican.org/prayer/our-lady/the-salve/

    There are few things in this world more beautiful than a faithful sister in a simple habit.

  8. iamlucky13 says:

    “She will join the “triumvirate”. The trium-VIR-ate.”

    I see what you did there.

    Well, I guess the NCR did it, actually. Perhaps even the LCWR did, although on their website it currently says “tripartite.”

  9. “We embrace our leadership as gift.”

    Like, I don’t get that, so, like, it must be like really, really, like, deep.

  10. Fr. Reader says:

    From the link about the upcoming LCWR Assembly.
    “That’s always the question for women religious. We’re always trying to respond to what the world needs of us,”
    “we are being called right now like we probably have not been called in the last 50 or 60 years — to have this vocation be a presence in this country, in the world, that is needed in ways that perhaps has not been needed since before Vatican II or the civil rights movement.”
    “today’s crises (…) are urgent calls for a creative transformation of religious life and its ministries…”

    No mention of Jesus Christ, redemption, the Church, not even mercy. To read that website is a bit sad, it is almost pagan.

  11. Fr. Reader says:

    Following your link to NCR I found this, I think we have to re-think this thing of the trium-vir-ate:

    “Conservative Christian LGBT discrimination is mistakenly Bible-based. Actually, man and woman were created genderless. Genesis 2:25, “The man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame.” Gender was introduced immediately after taking the bite of the forbidden fruit. Genesis 3:7, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked.” Gender then is one of the fallouts of sin.
    The church’s resistance to LGBT and its gender fluid paradigm, is in effect an obstacle to a return to the pre-Fall condition where genderlessness prevailed and the gay-straight, male-female binary did not exist. I think modern scholarship calls this Teilhard de Chardin’s Omega Point, a topic that is receiving considerable attention among the more liberal theologians.”

  12. JonPatrick says:

    “Creating Communion at the Intersection of Racism, Migration & Climate Crisis”. Love the way they ticked all the woke boxes there.

  13. hwriggles4 says:

    In my younger days a group of us young adults (25-39) often helped once or twice a year with a vocations awareness weekend that attracted three dioceses. Most of the younger women who came (the age range for the weekend was 18-40, although a few 40+ could attend with special permission) would often ask , “which orders wear the traditional habit?” Orders such as the Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist (who have a full house near Georgetown Texas – Austin Diocese – and some teach in diocesan schools there) and the Nashville Dominicans are growing. A couple years ago I helped fund a young lady who entered the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist (they seem like a growing order based in Connecticut) with paying off student loans through the Laboure society.

    Orders of women religious that are not attracting vocations, Why? Some of these orders would like to see women priests and church acceptance of artificial birth control. Some have de-emphasized daily prayer. Some of these orders that have a large membership of those born prior to 1965 have a heavy emphasis on social justice – my opinion is I do think some social justice and volunteerism is fine, but if it’s a 24/7 full time focus , it can become secularized.

    Here is a funny story: a few years ago, a religious sister (non habit) was leading a portion of a prayer service at our parish one evening (not a Mass). When this sister began trying to do a portion of her service en espanol (y hablar espanol pequeno) several Hispanics present stopped her and said nicely, “Sister, you can speak English – we understand English. “

  14. Pingback: MONDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit

Comments are closed.