Discerning Choices for New Life: A Survey of Options
The impetus for this study was brought about as a result of my experience as a consultant to several religious communities making profound decisions about their future. These communities, while living with different realities unique to their own circumstances, are facing thematically similar issues and grappling with similar choices. With so many communities traveling through these crossroads, it seemed obvious that sharing this information could only benefit the quality of discernment in which these communities are engaged.
My recent work with the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, of Victoria, Texas, obviated this need for information. Having made a Chapter commitment for Refounding, and in advance of their discernment about Reconfiguring, it seemed timely and important that they gather such information as a preliminary step in their discernment. Thus, after putting this survey together, their sisters volunteered to contact individuals from several communities in order to complete this survey. Thanks to the initial efforts of these sisters this survey was initiated.
I wish to also thank LCWR for further promoting the work of this study, which has now become a nationwide effort. I wish to especially thank you for your willingness to take the time, reflect on your own experience and share this with others searching for the wisdom you have to offer.
Please pass along this invitation to other members of your community who hold different perspectives in order to bring about a more robust collection of wisdom. Please forward this to other communities as well who are addressing these concerns. It is my hope and prayer that the results of this study will help communities facing the profound choices that will shape the future of religious life.
Ted Dunn, Ph.D.