Common Ground: Sacred Ground

Whenever I have gathered in a Giving Voice group I have often found that the common ground we all share as young sisters today is sacred ground.  We come together and savor the opportunity to speak our story and our common truth: the challenges and the joys we encounter, our great hope and our energy for the future of our lives, and our hope for the future of the wider community of women religious in the world today. gv-group-bookEarly in January was one such gathering when I had the great opportunity to go to Houston for a week on a writing retreat with others from Giving Voice.  I gathered there with the other sisters working on the book project, all of us under the age of 50, to collaborate on what we have since titled “In Our Own Words: Women Religious in a Changing World.”  We were so excited to be together and to put forth this book because we have felt that a book about women religious living in community today will be a much-needed resource for us as well as the next generation in religious life. Based on what I have read from the others I can see that this book will reflect our common joy and the fervor we all experience in religious life, and our time together that week was a celebration of all of this.  The common room in our retreat center dorm was full of life and joy: the table was scattered with coloring pages, markers, chocolates, and cards. Each night we would all gather to laugh, color, share our stories, and simply to be present to one another. Many of our stories are the same – our community life has so much in common despite the fact that we are from thirteen different orders.  This became more apparent to me as the week progressed and our sharing deepened.  We would gather for prayer and sharing peacockevery morning, and close our days with a ‘fishbowl’ style small group review. As we shared what we had written and where we were in our lives I began to see the threads of our common experience and the unity of our hope for the future. It was so fulfilling to spend those days with people who feed my heart and feed my soul. The week has left me energized for more – more life, more depth, and more openness to my God. God waits for us to act, to ask, to respond to the invitations God extends to us.  This week and this book has been just such an invitation to me and has opened me to an experience of my own gifts which I did not know I had, as well as the gift of gratitude for my vocation to religious life which has given me space to grow into who I truly am as well as a life that truly fulfills me.  I am also so grateful for the communal life I share with so many wonderful women, and I hope to share this life with those around me now and those yet to come.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gail Waring RSM
    Feb 09, 2017 @ 12:04:58

    Hi, Mandy, as I sit here watching the snow fall on the trees, I thank you for writing. It seems to me that your experience might be one of unity in diversity. Dwelling in us in love, God calls us all forward. As you say, in our many communities that life immerses us in, finding that same unity in great diversity leads us to common ground and a sense of belonging. I. Suppose the snow has given us both a day of unexpected quiet! Love to you.


  2. Nancy Corcoran
    Feb 10, 2017 @ 09:12:31

    Mandy, I’m so glad to be following your most excellent adventures!


  3. Megan Brown
    Feb 10, 2017 @ 11:50:25

    Hi Mandy,
    I am eager to savor this book. Thank you so very much for being part of it.
    Blessings and love….


  4. Leslie Porreca
    Feb 12, 2017 @ 00:42:17

    Hi Mandy,
    Thank you for sharing you many talents…look forward to reading the book!


  5. Patricia Colla
    Feb 12, 2017 @ 13:49:05

    Looking forward to reading the book, especially the chapter by YOU!!!!! Pat

    From: Nun with a side of pirate To: Sent: Thursday, February 9, 2017 10:30 AM Subject: [New post] Common Ground: Sacred Ground #yiv8421980225 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv8421980225 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv8421980225 a.yiv8421980225primaryactionlink:link, #yiv8421980225 a.yiv8421980225primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv8421980225 a.yiv8421980225primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv8421980225 a.yiv8421980225primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv8421980225 | blackconstance posted: “Whenever I have gathered in a Giving Voice group I have often found that the common ground we all share as young sisters today is sacred ground.  We come together and savor the opportunity to speak our story and our common truth: the challenges and the jo” | |


  6. Sister Elaine Deasy
    Mar 22, 2017 @ 13:16:33

    Great blog Mandy. Thank you for opening your experience of “Giving Voice.”


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