Religious Associates or Associate Religious? -- Meanings Beyond Words
After Mass today, I was sitting perusing an "old" print copy of
Have religious orders and their charisms become so stagnant, withered almost to extinction, that they are forced to mergers? Or is there not an evolution taking place enriched by the Spirit, with new kinds of life emerging in associate programs?
I am not suggesting that the Association Movement is a total replacement for religious life but a re-expression that modern women and some men are looking for. Religious life must continue to adopt a model of mutual companionship between the consecreated and the lay person. It must look at new and creative forms of membership and not rely on the old. Together, the religious and the associate can develop a powerful 'new religious life' that will contnue to be a prophetic voice and make a difference in the world. It would be refreshing to see some articles wirtten on religious congregations with new and viable associate programs. I am sure there are places for our young [and not so young, I'd add] ... adults if only we have the vision to develop new kinds of religious vocations."
While I don't necessarily agree with all of the author's statements as expressed, she raises some important and valuable questions, well worth our consideration. I have a few thoughts stirring but want to let them percolate a bit. In the meantime, feel free to share your responses to what she has proposed.