Leadership Conference of Women Religious

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January 2017

Standing in the 'Tragic Gap'

by Mary Pellegrino, CSJ -- LCWR President

There were 11 of us. Some were Protestant; some were Catholic; one was Muslim. Most were American- born, others not. Some were graduate students; others were long-term volunteers; some were sisters. Most were Millennials; there was one Gen-Xer and two Baby Boomers. Everyone knew someone. Only a few knew everyone. We were invited to come together to share about things that were important to us, and to listen to one another’s hopes, dreams and aspirations, particularly those of the youngest among us as they consider their future in the midst of our world.

The conversation was deep and honest. There was no pretense, no play book. The woman whose boyfriend is undocumented spoke freely and tearfully of her fear for him. A graduate student spoke angrily about the black figure found hung in effigy on the campus of her undergraduate Catholic alma mater. A volunteer spoke honestly about her desire – and her struggle - to stay in respectful dialogue with a friend whose politics and views are the polar opposite of her own, and the Muslim woman announced unabashedly that she is nowhere near being able to listen respectfully to the views of those who demonize her and people of her faith, and conceded the good that she experiences in desires and actions to build solidarity among what had once been divergent voices.  Download the PDF copy of the newsletter below to read this column in its entirety

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