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We will NOT be Silent Anymore!

“We will not be silent anymore!” was the chant at the rally on behalf of immigrants in downtown San Antonio. The Missionary Catechists of Divine Providence, a catholic religious community in San Antonio, sponsored a rally on behalf of all Hispanic immigrants, and the silent majority of U.S. citizens, who wish to welcome the stranger. Over 100 people came to pray, sing, peacefully march the streets, and hear from several speakers about the plight of immigrants and what we could do about it.

As a result of this rally, and as a way to build upon what we began, we are inviting those who attended the rally, and others who share in this cause. Ted and Beth with be facilitating this gathering sponsored by the Missionary Catechists of Divine Providence at their center in San Antonio. The purpose of the day will be to share our understandings, resources, ways in which we might be able to help, and to mobilize actions in support of the Hispanic immigrants. We will gather, put our heads and hearts together, and come up with creative ways to network, support, and create action steps that could be taken. 

 

Contact us, or the Missionary Catechists of Divine Providence, for more information. 

Facilitation Training Workshops
We are currently conducting advanced facilitation training workshops for communities located in California and South Dakota. For more information...
Newest Article
"The Role of Meaning-Making in Transitional Times." Published in the Fall, 2019 issue of the The Occasional Papers

Ted Dunn, Ph.D. addresses three relevant questions for our times:

  1. Why is meaning important in our lives?

  2. Why is meaning-making especially important in times of transition?

  3. How can communities and leaders, in particular, attend to this meaning-making effort?

 

See all of Dr. Dunn's articles under Resources.

Journey of Transformation

Dr. Ted Dunn, Sister Toni Harris, OP and Mr. Patrick Del Ponte presented at the 2019 RCRI National Conference in Dallas.

Religious life is going through a Great Turning – an enormous transition driven by the forces of change and drawn into the future by the lure and love of God. Demographic changes alone demand that communities adapt their structures and approaches to mission, community and stewardship of resources. Yet, beyond the need for change lies a deeper invitation: God’s call to choose life. This session presents an integrated approach to planning and visioning that addresses not only the personal, communal and systemic demands for change, but a means for engaging the deeper, inner and interpersonal work of transformation. This session places strategic planning in the context of a Journey of Transformation. We address the type of leadership, processes and visioning structures needed to help communities address the complex issues of organizational change within the context of a faith journey and drawing upon the experience of the Sinsinawa Dominicans.

Over the last few years, Dr. Dunn has introduced his work, guiding communities through a “Journey of Transformation” to religious leaders and communities throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa, Spain, Italy, Mexico and Central America. His efforts to assist communities through processes of deep change and transformation are inviting communities to open their boundaries and include more laity in the visioning processes. This seeds the processes with new energy, imagination and talent. As a result, these communities are opening up “new life,” discovering new energy, and reaching across differences and develop a shared vision for the future.

People want to “choose” life, but they need a way forward, across the desert, amidst the inherent ambiguity and challenges of such a journey. While there is no blueprint, plenty of “pitfalls,” and each community must make its own path, there are processes that help communities stay on the path of transformation. Dr. Dunn, and his wife/partner, Dr. Beth Lipsmeyer, assist communities seeking to create their path to the future and remain faithful to the journey.

Discerning Choices
for New Life

“I set before you life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life then, so that you and your descendants may live in the love of Yahweh your God.” ~ Deut 30:19-20

Time marches on and religious life in North America continues to undergo profound changes as a result of familiar trends: An inexorable decline in numbers and advancing age of its members; internal shifts in the values that undergird religious life; and the recognition that certain aspects of religious life require adaptation to a rapidly changing world. These pressures take a cumulative toll making it increasingly difficult for communities to go on “as is.” When going on as is becomes impossible, the critical question for communities becomes: Which option, of those available, will bring us to new life?"

Read more from “Discerning Choices for New Life: A Survey of Options” by Dr. Ted Dunn…

Gather the Wisdom, Weave a Dream

"When a community has more memories than it does dreams, it is dying. In my work with religious communities I have had the privilege of hearing many stories of life in the “good old days,” nostalgic stories about days gone by in formation and the early years of life in community. As these stories are shared with laughter and tears I often watch the faces of the novices and those newly professed and wonder to myself: What are the stories they will tell? Is there more of a past than there will ever be a future for this community?

The purpose of this article is to describe a type of journey that aims not merely to create powerful new visions, but to transform the heart and soul of communities by the very processes used. Such processes are not for every community. These processes are integrally connected to, and best suited for, communities on a journey of refounding, transformation or revitalization. The processes I will describe are intended to bring about deep and radical change."

Read more from “Gather the Wisdom, Weave a Dream: Transformative Visioning as a Refounding Process” by Dr. Ted Dunn…

Refounding Religious Life

"Many communities are searching for ways to bring forth “new life” through deep change and transformation. This article offers a new way to understand Refounding and the lure and love of God. It outlines five dynamic elements of refounding, namely:

  1. Transformation of Consciousness: See through new lenses;

  2. Transformative Visioning: Creating a prophetic vision and transforming life in community by the processes used in visioning;

  3. Re-Appropriation of Your Charism: A re-authentication of your inner voice, the spirit gift and voice of community;

  4. Reconciliation and Conversion: The crucible of Refounding, working through the brokenness in order to bring forth healing and redemption;

  5. Becoming a learning community: Being able to grow, learn and experiment as a community in order to adapt to an evolving world."

Read more from “Refounding Religious Life: A Choice for transformational Change” by Dr. Ted Dunn…