It is impossible these weeks to avoid the gloom in the church, given the endless rollout of the sex abuse crisis and the hierarchy's lurching and inadequate attempts so far to come to grips with its deepest causes. Throw in the revival of a story that first surfaced nearly 25 years ago about sexual abuse of nuns by priests in various spots around the globe, and the upcoming meeting in Rome of presidents of episcopal conferences around the world about which we were told to lower our expectations and … whew. We'll get to all of that in a bit.
But there is a far more energizing and hopeful story that perhaps you've seen — and if you haven't, you should. It's a series by Global Sisters Report staff writer Soli Salgado about nuns and "nones," those mostly millennials who profess no religious affiliation (as in "none of the above"). Part 1, as "Nuns and 'Nones' unite," can be read here. The second part, "A modern religious community," is available here.
This is a tale, wonderfully reported, about the most unlikely meeting of needs and fulfillment, curiosity and attainment, of young lives searching for something more than the fidgety nature of contemporary culture, and lives grounded in traditions whose roots reach deep into the history of Christian spirituality.