Some excerpts from NCR article's coverage of the assembly but you can read the entire article by pressing the title above:
"We have been called to leadership during extraordinary times," she said. "The much anticipated 'change of epoch' is upon us in full force."
Communities are facing funerals, ministry changes, dealing with property, and arranging for care of their members. "Some days, I wonder: Is this our principal call as leaders of religious institutes at this time?"
Holding a blue-green glass egg made from the ash of Mount St. Helens, she told the audience: "We did everything we were supposed to do by taking the [Second Vatican Council] renewal to heart. ... We have been faithful women. This same faith will allow us to look beyond the ashes to the color that they make possible."
With her congregation facing completion, Sr. Frances O'Brien, whose Canadian community is an associate member of LCWR, said in an interview after the address that the imagery of a final eruption did not distress her, but instead made her think, "It's going out with a bang."
The Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul of Kingston, Ontario, have been doing the difficult work of preparing for completion for four years, she said. The process "has brought us much closer together in communion. We are facing this reality that is beyond our control except that we can plan to navigate it well together," O'Brien said. "I think that's one of our wildflowers."
For 50 years we've been told that the Church and her institutions began a renewal after Vatican II that would see them into the future made stronger. Immediately after Vatican II, not years after, we saw religious life all but fail in the post-Vatican II model with women leaving in droves and no new ones coming in.
And with that meant the shutting down of many of their fabulous institutions, schools, hospitals and the like or turning them over to lay boards of trustees that made them into businesses.
I feel sorry for the LCWR. Their post-Vatican II leaders who led them to their ultimate destruction are mostly dead now themselves but if any are still living who are responsible for this decline and fall, many of us would like to hear a loud, booming "mea culpa" and then most of us can let them go in peace.
I just pray they will acknowledge the right way to renewal and will thank those who will be the beacon of religious life in the future, like Mother Angelica's Poor Clare Nuns, the Hawthorn Dominicans, the Nashville Dominicans, the Sisters of Mercy of Alma and many others--these are those undergoing authentic renewal of religious life in our day and not preparing for their orders funeral and final exit from the modern world but are a shining beacon of religious life for the Church of today and tomorrow.