Apostolic Visitation

Loretto sisters summoned to Rome, raising questions on closure of apostolic visitation

The Vatican's congregation for religious life has summoned to Rome the superior of one of the major orders of U.S. Catholic sisters, asking her to "report on some areas of concern" following the controversial six-year investigation of the country's communities of women religious.

Apostolic visitation: Sisters learn from the starlings

The announcement six years ago of an apostolic visitation of United States congregations of women religious caused a stir among many sisters. This attempt by the Vatican to exert unwanted control posed a threat to the identity and mission of the congregations and initiated a crisis. However, a good number of the congregations faced the challenge head on with a response reminiscent of the swarming behavior of starlings.

The Vatican, ‘feminism’ and U.S. women religious

Twice in recent months Catholics have breathed a sigh of relief when press conferences in Rome announced the friendly settlement of difficulties between Vatican officials and American women religious. Although Pope Francis gives evidence of androcentric thinking, I believe his commitment to initiating processes of reform that allow for the voicing of divergent views is promising where justice for women is concerned.

Exercising contemplative power with the Vatican

Recently I had an opportunity to lead the discussion following the screening of the film, "Band of Sisters," which I am in. It tells the story of how we women religious became involved with various ministries following the Second Vatican Council. It focuses on the emerging works of social justice, political advocacy, the movement toward sustainability and ecological centers and the transformation of consciousness rooted in contemplation. Woven within the film is the challenge women religious faced with the investigations initiated from two different Vatican Congregations.