Leadership Conference of Women Religious

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Annual Report 2009-10: Creating in Chaos

Looking over a year of challenges, contrasts, and commitments, we find ourselves immersed in the Paschal Mystery as we conclude the initial decade of this 21stcentury. One cannot place theoretical observations on the great mysteries that fidelity requires. As the Paschal Mystery women found themselves in a chaos they neither desired nor chose, so too with us!  

We have found ourselves celebrating the stories of our foremothers in America through the great exhibit we have called Women & Spirit. Each opening of the exhibit in Cinncinati; Dallas; Washington, DC; and Cleveland etched more deeply into our hearts the memory of the greatsouled women who served the needs of the poor with an unrelenting response for right relationships in their world. These very stories have provided us the impetus to face our own surprises of the past year.

The apostolic visitation and doctrinal assessment seemed a formidable experience of chaos. As if the chaos of ecclesial brokenness all around us was not enough, our very earth itself shook with quakes and floods and eruptions. Could mystery be any more evident in cosmic destruction and the disruption of human relationships happening simultaneously?

We women religious are not afraid of chaos. We have our terrors and our doubts that can threaten the work of the Spirit. Even so, we transmute one thing into another, turning disappointments and tragedies into new stories of healing and loving. The call to create in disturbing times is a calling like no other. It is an urge that howls for expression in shadows seeking more light. It is an act of faith to respond to this inner voice, to give it our time and our love, and if grace be with us, to bring forth blessing and peace.Our centeredness in the Paschal Mystery has prompted us to cry out to the Christ who leads us. We have spoken truth to one another and to our companions on this journey of visitation and the testing of belief. We have responded with integrity because these momentous events lie deeply within the meaning of our lives and dignity. Our crying out is a potent message with great good news that, in Christ, humanity is delivered from all gloom. We are restored to grace and holiness of life. Jesus said that if we fail to tell this story, the “stones will cry out.”  It seems that this is a time when we are crying out with the stones!  Our spirits must spring into the universe with redemptive and prophetic urgency.

Marlene Weisenbeck, FSPA — President
Mary Hughes, OP — President-Elect
J Lora Dambroski, OSF  — Past President

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