The Vatican seems to be nearing the end of an investigation of communities of sisters in the United States who engage in apostolic work. Whether we learn the results of that investigation remains to be seen.
The investigation has been shrouded in secrecy. Ostensibly it is an investigation into the quality of sisters’ lives, but it has had a disturbing aggressive quality.
However, it has also had unintended consequences. One seems to be a stirring of feelings of love and loyalty of many of the faithful to communities of women religious. That doesn’t surprise me. What has surprised me in my own community, the Sisters of Loretto, has been our positive engagement in the process.
More than 80 sisters chose to be interviewed and more wrote letters to the visitators last November. We wrote up what we wanted to say. We practiced. We talked together about our visions of religious life, the strengths we see in Loretto, and any external threats we experience. (Many sisters named the Vatican investigation as an external threat.)
Some interviewees traveled to our Loretto Motherhouse in Nerinx, Kentucky for the interviews. (Others used Skype.)