...striving to follow Christ in the loving
simplicity of our holy father St. Francis
wholly to Christ
Sister Leslie Keener, C.D.P. and Sister Katy LaFond, O.S.F. stroll the beach during a gathering of sisters in their 20s and 30s.
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Sister Dorothy Ann Dirkx
40 Morris Avenue, Denville, NJ 07834
Different generations have distinct
life experiences, energy levels,
prayer forms, technology habits,
and attitudes toward religious garb.
sometimes those differences complement one another, and other times
the classic generation gap with all its
frustrations can arise.
“There is a lot of wisdom that
the older guys do bring with them,”
said a 30-year-old seminarian who
asked not to be named. “At the same
time it’s important for the older ones
to listen to the younger ones because
maybe that’s where the church is
moving.” This seminarian calls for
mutual respect in the distinctions
between younger men in his community who are attracted to eucharistic adoration and the older ones
who see it as sign of weak theology
that limits God’s presence.
He also welcomes openness
within the community and discussion in regard to the emphasis
among the young on external signs,
particularly religious garb. “older
people have internalized their
identity,” he noted. “They have less
need to be in [clerical garb].” often
Catholic symbols mean one thing
to the young (for whom religious
habits are a public witness, showing
love for the church) and another to
the old (for whom habits separate
religious from laity). young and old
agree that it helps to keep talking
across the generations.
negotiating the different energy
levels of older and younger generations requires a similar attitude of
respect, and it also has led young religious outside their own communities
to meet their need to relate to peers.
senior members often don’t have the
energy to stay up late at night the