Women Religious: Taking Care of Things
During an opening discussion at the Resource Center for Religious Institutes conference last Fall, a speaker referred to the following gospel selection (Luke 3:1-3):
Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him, 2and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, 3and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means.
In doing so, he highlighted the idea that the women were supporting and providing for the apostles. He found that particularly relevant as women religious are still today going forth and offering support, stewardship, and ministry. As the speaker said, “Women have always been taking care of things.”
So, as women religious today need to face a changing and uncertain future, they are called to “take care of things,” to provide support for themselves, each other, and those who benefit from their ministry. Sisters must make decisions, develop plans, and take actions to ensure that their legacies live on and all women religious can continue living a meaningful life of purpose and ministry until their final days. The beautiful part is that women religious are absolutely capable and prepared to chart this new course. Sisters have been charting a course their whole lives. From founding congregations, to the evolution of causes and ministries, to new ways of managing congregations, sisters simply get things done.
As we face new challenges ahead, we all—vowed and laity alike—can draw on the strength, history, and perseverance of women religious everywhere. We can stand on the shoulders of those who have made difficult decisions and put their trust in God and each other to find a new way. We can move forward confidently knowing that women religious have been taking care of things all along.