Julie A. Ferraro has been a journalist for more than 30 years, covering many topics for publications across the U.S. She is a Benedictine Oblate of the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, Idaho. She moved from Yelm, Washington, in January 2021 to be part of an intentional community with the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, who sponsor a house of discernment in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Intentional communities have cropped up over the last decade to connect sisters with those who are seeking spiritual growth and discernment, even if they don't plan to enter religious life.
In more recent decades, Lent's focus has shifted from giving up bad habits to doing good works, stepping outside one's comfort zone to do good deeds, or praying more. Still, the chocolate hangs over my head.
As the face of religious life continues to change, and with an awareness that lay people are seeking intentional community, the Benedictine Sisters of the Monastery of St. Gertrude in Idaho have started the Benedictine Cohousing Companions.
GSR Today - The Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities sponsor a house of discernment in Pittsburgh where I have just started the journey toward building an intentional community and our respective future with Sister Caryn and two others.