Leadership Conference of Women Religious

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Discernment on the Future of Religious Life

Discerning Our Emerging Future is an initiative created by LCWR to support institutes of women religious as we explore together how collectively to organize for mission at a time of dramatic change. The initiative provides a path into the future marked by collaboration and creativity, as well as support and solidarity.

The accelerated pace of change in religious institutes points to an urgent need to work across religious institutes to create new sustainable structures that assure a future for religious life. Leaders are strongly urged to seriously consider the implications of the current reality of large numbers of aging members in religious communities, along with the entrance into religious orders in the United States of approximately 200 women each year. There is a clear call to our generation of leaders to create new ways to organize the body of US women religious for mission and service.

Discernment Processes for Spring 2021

During spring 2021, all LCWR members are asked to watch the video below that introduces them to the document. "What We Are Seeing." The document is a summary and analysis of what LCWR has learned in the period of August 2020 through January 2021 in the conference’s Discerning Our Emerging Future Initiative. Following their own reflection on the document, all leaders are asked to engage in the process provided below as a leadership team that asks them to discuss their own institute's realities in light of the LCWR learnings and to complete a feedback form by April 15, 2021. This feedback will be invaluable as LCWR works on next steps.

Because this discernment process needs the engagement of all members of our institutes, LCWR members are also asked to engage their members in a 90-minute reflection process on the video and document. A suggested process that includes a prayer service is provided below. Leaders are asked to send in a feedback form with some key insights that came from the session by May 15, 2021

This document and process is translated in Spanish as an attachment below.