Future of religious life
Each community will put its mark upon the future of religious life and our world. What is the mark your community has made, and has yet to make, upon the future?
Each community has choices to make regarding the future they wish to create for their mission, charism and community as a whole. While you cannot predict the future, or guarantee your future, you can make choices to give your mission and charism the best chance it has to live on past your days. The rest is up to God and the vicissitudes of life. The sad truth, according to O’Murchu and others, is that most communities (75%) will become extinct. Whether or not your community dies out with the death of its last members, or transforms or rebirths a new cycle of life, The handwriting is on the wall and communities must make a choice now while they have the energy and resources to be proactive.
Reconfiguring, Restructuring and Refounding are chief among the many viable choices available for “new life.” That is why we are conducting a national surveyin order to assess the viability of these choices. Going all out for recruiting new vocations is another choice that communities are making. The mixed results of these efforts is well documented. Be that as it may, these are not the only “wise” choices available. Regardless of the literature, or what other communities are doing, for some communities such endeavors are unwise, too costly or simply not life-giving.
Some communities have claimed a desire to live out their days and forego the all consuming efforts to Reconfigure, Restructure or Refound. Rather than spending all of their remaining time, energy and resources in meetings, “planning” for their future, they want to continue “living” their mission and doing so proactively as a “choice for life.” While their days as a community may be numbered, their mission and charism do not have to die out and many communities are looking for ways to ensure that their legacy lives on. We assist communities in planning for and creating their legacy. Among the many ways communities are doing this:
Setting up and indoctrinating boards in their mission that will carry on and oversee their ministries;
Strengthening partnerships and collaborative endeavors between members and laity as well as with other religious communities;
Creating legacy videos that holds their members’s “voices” through time has been a creative and inspirational way to ensure their legacy;
Asking members to write their stories and publishing the written voices of all members in a book.
We assist communities in planning the best way for them to ensure that their legacy lives on well past their days as a community. Contact us for additional information.