Update (June 2011)
Rome: A First View
The annual visit of the LCWR leadership to Rome was my first opportunity to step into the world of the Vatican. The days were very full and I found myself tucking away impressions and feelings to process later. I’m still doing that. However, one thing has become clear: the need to approach it all with the broad view of a world church and the long view of history.
Visits to Vatican offices called for the broad view, demonstrating the complexities of an international church. I learned of the plight of 1.2 million sea-faring people, the extent of the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, the unique challenges to social communications in the developing world. The beatification of Pope John Paul II while we were in Rome provided a visual of a global church, with flags of the world waving above national delegations, Polish pride everywhere evident, and a large number of youth representing many countries. Religious life, too, is clearly global. The conversation with UISG/USG made me aware of the advantages of our international network. It was a joy to tell of our LCWR assembly resolution of solidarity with religious around the world. We shared common concerns and a warm sense of connection. There was a collective desire to nurture religious life for the world. Through UISG/USG, we are uniquely positioned to do that.
by Pat Farrell, OSF — LCWR President-Elect