Leadership Conference of Women Religious

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Summer 2015: Exploring the Great Deep

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The focus of the Summer 2015 issue  of Occasional Papers springs from a concept put forward by Jesuit superior general, Fr. Adolfo Nicolás, SJ. While addressing those working in Jesuit higher education, Fr. Nicolás noted a phenomenon he named the “globalization of superficiality” that has risen due to our new capacities to access information; publish our opinions; be exposed to multiple options, values, and visions of life; and become “friends” with mere acquaintances or total strangers on social networks. These realities, he says, can lead us away from the painstaking work of serious, critical thinking; of forming communities of dialogue in search of truth and understanding; and of building true and meaningful relationships. To counter this globalization of superficiality, Fr. Nicolás speaks of a strong need to promote depth of thought, as well as imagination and creativity.

The authors in Occasional Papers explore this phenomenon through a variety of perspectives and suggest what this reality may mean for those in religious life today. This issue also includes interviews on this topic with both Dewitt Jones, a former National Geographic photographer who now teaches creativity and vision, and Peggy McAllister, an executive coach and leadership development consultant.

This issue is also intended to serve as a preparatory resource for LCWR members as they look ahead to the August 2015 LCWR assembly entitled, "Springs of the Great Deep Burst Forth: Meeting the Thirsts of the World."


  • Creative Receptivity: Waiting Together for We Know Not What
    Theresa Sandok, OSM explores why imagination and creativity are desperately needed for these times
  • Working Imaginatively and Creatively Within Complex Systems
    Kathleen Popko, SP explores the lessons learned through the transformation of Catholic healthcare ministry
  • Advocacy: A Critical Role for Today’s Religious Life Leaders
    Anne Curtis, RSM challenges leaders to engage with the pressing issues of our time
  • Living from the Great Deep is Our Vocation
    Maria Elena Martinez, OSF reflects on the challenges and blessings of living in our multicultural world
  • Overcoming Blight with Beauty
    Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB shows how her Benedictine community is helping transform a city through the arts
  • How to Promote Depth of Thinking and Creativity
    In an interview, photographer Dewitt Jones shares his experiences of fostering creativity and a sense of wonder
  • Readying Congregations for New Understandings of Leadership
    Leadership coach Peggy McAllister speaks in an interview of her accompaniment of younger women religious and some new ways of thinking about leadership
  • Reflections on Pope Francis’ Call to Religious
    Barbara Blesse, OP and Patricia Crowley, OSB explore the challenge offered by the pope to “wake up the world”
  • For Your Reflection
    Ideas for unpacking the insights of these authors and interviewees
  • Poetry on The Great Deep
    Simone Campbell, SSS (page 13) and Regina Bechtle, SC (page 15) share their insights on The Great Deep in poetry


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