Gathering in the desert at the Redemptorist Renewal Center in Tucson, Arizona, the LCWR national board met to discuss some of the essential issues facing US religious life and the conference, and to conduct its regular business.
The meeting, held from February 19 to 23, covered a wide range of topics pertinent to LCWR and religious life leadership. In addition to reports from the presidency, the LCWR regions, the LCWR staff, and various committees, the agenda included discussion of the some of the key questions facing religious life leaders today.
In concluding the meeting, the board and staff engaged the LCWR “Behold, I am Doing Something New Contemplative Process” to corporately reflect on the meeting proceedings in light of what they may be calling women religious to in the future. Noting the great willingness of women religious to engage a future that is very much emerging, the final statement of the group from this process is: “Trusting in God, there is an emerging, collective readiness for …”
The national board of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men convened at the same time and, in addition to gathering together for daily prayer, Eucharistic liturgy, meals, and socials, the boards held two joint sessions.
Janice Bader, CPPS, executive director of the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO), and Dan Ward, OSB, executive director of the RCRI, attended the joint meeting and shared current data on religious institutes in the United States. Both boards discussed what US religious life may need to do in order to have a viable future and are exploring how religious may help define what the next chapter of religious life may look like.