The Holy Spirit is working overtime these days! The Conference of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR) has 100 or so holy, faithful, communities of American women religious. It represents a renaissance of American Catholicism that has been steadily taking place below the radar. Large numbers of young, intelligent, personable women have been quietly dedicating their lives to God. The CMSWR is personified by holy young women like Harvard University’s 2010 valedictorian Mary Anne Marks who has now become Sister Maria Veritas, OP of the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
This gospel readiness to go beyond self, leaving everything to follow the Lord, stands in marked contrast to the Carl Rogers psychological distortions, still evident more than forty-five years after he served as the catalyst for the falsehoods that he managed to instill in other misguided communities of sisters, all in pursuit of a quest for supposed “self fulfillment”.
In sharp contrast to those unfortunate communities that have been aging and not growing, the Leadership Conference of Women is made up of faithful communities, most of them both young and growing. One of these is a group of Dominicans in Ann Arbor known as the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist. This was the community that captivated Oprah and her TV audience twice. These are young, brilliant, faithful, holy and witty women… exemplified by Harvard’s 2010 valedictorian Mary Anne Franks: now Sister Maria Veritas, OP. By the way, check out her Harvard valedictory speech — in Latin!– here): Harvard Valedictorian Joins Convent.
It’s one of the best kept secrets in the Catholic Church that there are more than 100 similar communities of holy, faithful, intelligent and committed women — many of them with average member ages in the thirties. They include Mother Teresa’s selfless Missionaries of Charity in the South Bronx, the classy yet never prideful Sisters of Life, the holy and joyous Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal and many more.
These remarkable communities belong to the dynamic and inspiring Conference of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR). Check them out at http://cmswr.org ) And CMSWR stands up for what they believe. When American bishops responded to the Obama Administration on behalf of religious liberty, freedom of conscience and Catholic faith, CMSWR’s response was a supportive call for a national novena of prayer and fasting: “We beg God for the preservation of our great and beautiful country…. The CMSWR invites you to join with us in a novena of prayer and fasting, asking Mary, Patroness of the United States of America, to implore God’s loving mercy on us at this critical time. The novena will begin March 25 and end April 2, 2012….”
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