KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- There's only "one question worth asking" about religious life today, Holy Spirit Fr. Anthony Gittins told a crowd of some four hundred gathered for the Religious Formation Conference's congress here this morning.
Amidst continuing talk of diminishment of religious orders, and worries about how ministries will continue with fewer numbers, the professor, social activist, and hospital chaplain put it bluntly:
“Numbers and age are of little consequence," said Gittins. "The only question worth asking…is whether we are running, standing still, or just twitching nervously as we wait for death.”
Instead, Gittins, who is a professor of mission and culture at the Catholic Theological Union, said “now is the moment for religious to stand up and to stand fast." Otherwise, he said, “it remains a serious danger that the church of poverty and prayer will disappear.”
Offering concrete examples for how to do forward, Gittins said members of religious communtities must seek out the markings of "spirit-led" people to answer their call, including "looking for trouble" and leading lives that are "full and worthwhile and never boring."