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At conference, congregations embrace diversity, commit to developing fellowship

Religious congregations from all over the world gathered in Chicago to explore how to overcome unconscious biases permeating their orders, during a conference hosted by the Center for the Study of Consecrated Life. Speakers cautioned that interculturality, how those from different cultures relate to one another, may be an existential matter for religious life.

Lights! Camera! Action!

A Nun's Life Ministry hosted 16 sisters from congregations across the U.S. on October 27-28 for a pilot workshop about making videos — with a twist. We adapted professional filmmaking techniques to the use of iPhones and iPads for creating internet videos about discernment, prayer, ministry, community and other aspects of religious life.

Q & A with Catherine Sexton, revealing sisters' theology through research

After a year of consultations with sisters in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Malawi, Catherine Sexton is delving into the research project that will ask sisters in Africa: What is the essence of religious life? "We want to hear sisters' theology, and also we want sisters to hear themselves talking about theology."

Religious workers face immigration, health care challenges

Resource Center for Religious Institutes' National Conference - A new White House administration has meant new realities for women religious in almost every aspect of immigration, whether it is religious worker visas or churches helping undocumented persons, an immigration attorney says. Minyoung Ohm, a staff attorney in the Religious Immigration Services section of Catholic Legal Immigration Network, said some of the changes have been formalized in new rules, and others are changes in enforcement practices.

Contemplative orders look to new guidelines, ways to share fruits of spiritual life

More than a year after Pope Francis issued new guidelines for contemplative women religious, leaders of those communities are still working to figure out what changes will be required. Benedictine Sr. Nancy Bauer told attendees at the Resource Center for Religious Institutes' National Conference Nov. 1 the new norms will not take effect until the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life delivers instructions on how to implement them.

Creator of 'Novitiate' film wants audiences to focus on coming-of-age story

After seeing "Novitiate," I told the publicists it was bold, provocative and artistic, and it is. There is much in the film that has the ring of truth and a past reality. It is highly watchable. The scene that derailed me early on, however, was that a non-baptized person would be accepted into the postulancy like everyone else with no reference to baptism or the sacraments.

Unlocked: 1967 survey of 140,000 US sisters now accessible to all

In the late 1960s, as the effects of the Second Vatican Council began to reverberate through the Catholic Church, Sr. Marie Augusta Neal of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur conducted a survey of American women religious in active ministry. Now, thanks to the University of Notre Dame's Cushwa Center for American Catholicism, the data has been decoded, re-saved and made available for anyone's research.