Elizabeth Eisenstadt Evans is a religion columnist for Lancaster Newspapers, Inc., as well as a freelance writer. She is a longtime book reviewer for the Philadelphia Inquirer and a contributor to Religion News Service and the National Catholic Reporter. Her work has been featured in the Huffington Post and The Washington Post, as well as other nationally-known publications, including Publisher's Weekly. Evans resides in bucolic Glenmoore, Pennsylvania, with her family.
Mercy Sr. Theresa Kane's televised statement to Pope John Paul II, a politely worded but direct challenge about including women in all church ministries, drew intense media coverage, spurred scrutiny of U.S. sisters and marked a new era of progress.
Amid times of sadness as colleagues died and ministries were reconfigured or surrendered, women religious have not been overwhelmed. Instead they have brought skill, resilience and profound faith to the task of planning for their individual and corporate futures.
A Good Death, Part 2 - Though they are separated by a generation, two Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia have spent years living with cancer diagnoses, sharing a life-altering experience of an illness that threatens to turn deadly. Both find strength in being of service to others and in the support from their community. "When they say, 'I'm praying for you,' I know they are, and I know I can go the next few feet," says Sr. Margaret Lewis.
A Good Death, Part 1 - When it comes to death and dying, sisters bring eternal hope, humor and a well-organized file folder ... just in case. Interviews with sisters in a variety of communities suggest that many bring a bracingly practical, even matter-of-fact approach to preparing for the inevitable.