Apostolic Visitation

Reflection on the apostolic visitation, 2008-2017

One of our novices asked me to share my experience of living the vowed life. I looked forward to an honest conversation — I wanted her to know the gift religious life is for me. After 59 years, it is still the best decision I ever made! Her first question, however, took me off guard. "What is a metaphor for your relationship with the hierarchical church?"

Loretto sisters summoned to Rome, raising questions on closure of apostolic visitation

The Vatican's congregation for religious life has summoned to Rome the superior of one of the major orders of U.S. Catholic sisters, asking her to "report on some areas of concern" following the controversial six-year investigation of the country's communities of women religious.

Apostolic visitation: Sisters learn from the starlings

The announcement six years ago of an apostolic visitation of United States congregations of women religious caused a stir among many sisters. This attempt by the Vatican to exert unwanted control posed a threat to the identity and mission of the congregations and initiated a crisis. However, a good number of the congregations faced the challenge head on with a response reminiscent of the swarming behavior of starlings.

The Vatican, ‘feminism’ and U.S. women religious

Twice in recent months Catholics have breathed a sigh of relief when press conferences in Rome announced the friendly settlement of difficulties between Vatican officials and American women religious. Although Pope Francis gives evidence of androcentric thinking, I believe his commitment to initiating processes of reform that allow for the voicing of divergent views is promising where justice for women is concerned.