A few years ago, 20-25 young sisters in our 20s and 30s were gathered in Arizona for our yearly retreat with Giving Voice. Giving Voice is an organization that networks young sisters as a way of being support to one another and living into the future of religious life. That year, we were talking about what we were reading about the vows and religious life. Most of us were reading most of the same things. What became evident was that most of what was out there was written years ago and/or by people who had entered years ago. There was nothing out there that really reflected our current lived experience. So, it was decided that a new book should be written.
That book is now out! In Our Own Words: Religious Life in a Changing World was written by 13 sisters under the age of 50 from 13 different communities. The sisters worked to get as much diversity as they could–sisters with habit and without; sisters from different racial and ethnic groups; sisters from different generations (yet under 50); sisters in formation and those with final vows; sisters with different ministries. The sisters came together and spent a week writing. They met every morning to begin together with prayer, then off they went to write. They came together to read each other’s thoughts and share reflections. I alternated between tears and chills in the introduction alone; it was so reflective of how we are together.
Honestly, I haven’t read much of the book yet, but I’m so excited to have something that reflects religious life today and what it is becoming. If you are interested in religious life in any way, I recommend the investment. I’d love to share thoughts with anyone who reads it. It’s a great life! I’m glad to share it with so many awesome women.