Leadership Conference of Women Religious

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October 2016

Remembering as Contemplative Practice

by Mary Pellegrino, CSJ -- LCWR President

In a span of less than two weeks Margaret Held, SSSF and Paula Merrill, SCN were brutally killed in their home in Durant, MS; Isabel Sola  Matas, RJM was gunned down in her car in Port au Prince, Haiti; a Bolivian sister in La Paz was kidnapped and raped by four men, two of whom wore police uniforms; Georgetown University publicly acknowledged its role in our country’s slavery trade and named the actions it will take to seek reconciliation with the descendants of slaves owned by the Jesuits in 1838 who were sold to ensure the financial stability of the school;  and Mother Theresa was declared a saint. 

I’m overwhelmed just remembering.  Yet remembering, as contemplative practice, is precisely what we can offer to our communities, our church and the world at this time. 

Remembering as contemplative practice allows us, too, to revisit events and circumstances from the past in ways that help us to recognize which memories are mere nostalgia and which have the power to affect the future.  Which are like Johann Metz’s dangerous memories, “incalculable visitants from the past,” whose power and grace make demands on us in the present in order to shape a desired future. (To continue reading, download PDF of newsletter below)

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