Linda Romey is a Benedictine Sister of Erie, Pennsylvania. She is the community's web developer/designer and does marketing for Monasteries of the Heart, Benetvision and the Erie Benedictines. She is a former marketing and advertising manager for the National Catholic Reporter Publishing Company. Prior to entering the Erie Benedictines, she worked seven years in Colombia, partially under the aegis of the Archdiocese of Denver. She holds a BA in Theology from Rockhurst University and an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management, DeVry University.
How much of the talk about the future of religious life is really about the future of our religious traditions, not the life itself? Vowed members will continue to be as important to the lifeblood of the traditions as non-vowed members are coming to be.
Women can take a place at the table, even when we're not invited or encouraged — and if we're shut out, we need to set up our own tables. We can take the microphone and speak, post the information and share it, open the door and walk in.
As religious communities undergo transition, we can learn from the "open-source" approach to software development to help better shape our communities' futures.
Take a plant cutting and let it grow in new soil: Keep the constitutive elements (lifelong consecrated celibacy and community) and replant them. Engage today's seekers in open and honest dialogue and then give them space to create community. Trust in God to lead us.