Two who embody the forces shaping the Catholic community

16th in the series

Though separated in age by at least two generations, and worlds apart in life experience, Sara Nolan and Sr. Bernice Garcia represent some of the strong impulses within the Catholic community that are shaping its future: the growing role of laity in the church, especially women; the conviction reinforced by the Second Vatican Council that Catholics, by virtue of their baptism, have an essential part to play in salvation history; and the rising awareness of the social dimension of a life of faith.

I spoke at length to both women during my recent visit to New Mexico, Garcia in the Santa Fe archdiocese, covering the central and northern portions of the state, and Nolan in the Las Cruces diocese, which stretches across the state's southern tier.

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