Sr. Maria Clara Kreis is a native of Germany and has lived for two decades with her religious community of the Sisters of Divine Providence in the United States. She is currently the grant project coordinator and lead researcher at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on life satisfaction among Roman Catholic apostolic women religious.
Thousands of sisters — ranging from 25 to 95 years old — from around the globe have participated in the Life Satisfaction Scale for Apostolic Women Religious survey. Some of their responses emphasized the contribution the instrument can make to religious life in general and to their congregations in particular.
A community of young Salvadoran sisters asked to participate in the Life Satisfaction Scale for Apostolic Women Religious (LSSAWR). Our meeting was graced with so many transformative encounters that it drew me into a deeper reflection on the Feast of the Visitation.
It was striking to hear the first 2014 Christmas songs rehearsed by the church choir of the Bamenda parish in Cameroon during the month of November. I immediately found myself chiming in – and then grateful that my few weeks in Cameroon would include the opening of the celebration of the Year of Consecrated Life. As I reflected and prayed about Pope Francis’ invitation to women and men religious “to wake up the world,” little did I realize that the “world” would be waking me up.