Newer members of religious communities speak up
DOZENS of newer sisters, brothers, and priests reflected on their lives as part of a gathering of the National Religious Vocation Conference held in late 2020. They wrote and spoke on themes prominent in religious life today: communal life, intercultural living, multigenerational community, and their hopes for the future.Here is a sampling of what this diverse group had to say. Find more reflections in the Abundant Hope playlist atyoutube.com/natrelvocationconf.
GOD STILLLIVES IN US
in what I’m
is a time of
and yet all I
see is hope
and effort. My life has been
transformed in the short time
I have lived religious life. Does
our community look different
these days? Yes! And it also looks
different from the first days of
our community in Dublin, Ireland.
Sister Addie Lorraine Walker,S.S.N.D. reminded us duringthe Convocation of the NationalReligious Vocation Conference thatthe “God that lived in Esther’s timelives today” and the “God that livedat the founding of our communitylives in us today.” God is calling usto something exciting! Do we knowwhat it looks like? Nope! And yethere we are day after day seekingto bring the kingdom of God to allof God’s precious children.
—Sister Kelly Williams, R.S.M.
One of thethings Ilearned whenI moved tothe UnitedStates was theimportance oflanguage. It isso much morethan communication with another person—itreveals how you think and how youlive and how you see the world.
Today, I live with priests and brothers from Indonesia, Mexico, Brazil,the Philippines, the Netherlands, andthe United States. It has been sucha blessing living with my brothersfrom around the world. We enrichone another with our cultures andteach each other about our respectivecustoms and traditions. This helps usall embrace the world as one community.
—Father Kavusa Mulekya Hubert, O.S.C.
I think genera-
tional and cultural
life. We have to
pay attention to
them, and learn
to navigate between them in order to
live together as brothers. Living in an
international, intergenerational, and
intercultural community as brothers
is a beautiful and prophetic witness to
our society, which is constantly being
broken and divided in the name of
race, color, or culture.
—Brother Antony Julius Milton,O.F.M.Cap.
COMPANIONSON THE JOURNEY
I found out veryquickly that livingin communitywasn’t that easy.
I had to adjust to
a different culture
and share my
life with several
women who were complete strangers
to me at the time. But those strang-
ers became companions on the
journey through personal and
communal prayer, faith sharing,
supportive love and care for each
other, meaningful friendship, open
and honest dialogue, and our
On another level, communityis not simply a few human beingsfrom a particular congregationliving under the same roof witha common purpose. Our living incommunity as religious meansstriving to be and make othersaware that creation is infused withGod and everything is one in God.
—Sister Limeteze Pierre Gilles,S.S.N.D.
My community membersrange in agefrom 25 to 74.
The youngermembers’ technological savvymakes life abit easier, andtheir vibrant energy and enthusiasm can lift our home’s atmosphere. Alternatively, the moresenior members provide a calming presence and offer youngermembers insights from their livedexperience. We all learn fromone another and appreciate thegifts and ideas that each memberbrings. It is our love for Jesus Christthat makes our intergenerationalcommunity possible, doable, andlife-giving because it translates intoour love for each other. This givesme hope.
—Sister Ethel Puno, C.C.V.I.