Preview our Sept. 27 Religious Life Special Section


Content from NCR special sections, including our September 27-October 10, 2013, Religious Life edition, is not available online. These sections explore topics important to today's Catholics, including Our Environment, Catholic Education, Family Life and Theology.

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1.jpgA monastery with a doorbell agenda
Salesian spirituality grounds sisters’ presence in Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS . As Visitation Srs. Mary Frances Reis and Karen Mohan prepared to leave for retreat one October day in 1991, they saw a man get shot in front of their house at 1527 Fremont Avenue North. Shootings are not an anomaly in certain parts of Minneapolis, especially during the 1990s, when the city earned the moniker “Murderapolis.” The two sisters ran to the man, knelt by him and held him in their arms. Soon enough, ambulance sirens overpowered their prayers for the dying. This compassion showed by the sisters started the deep relationship they would have with their new neighborhood. It was the neighborhood’s way of seeing “that we were OK,” Reis said. “And they were going to have our backs.” ... PRINT ONLY


Sisters commit to confronting abuse crisis

BOSTON . When Katherine Donnelly and Maureen Paul Turlish became sisters 50 years ago, the specter of clerical sex abuse had yet to rear its ugly head in the Catholic church. Not that abuse was not happening in the late 1950s and early 1960s when these women entered their orders. It was. But over the past 20 years these two Catholic nuns — Donnelly in Boston and Turlish in Pennsylvania and Delaware — have confronted the evil emerging from the church’s worse crisis since the Inquisition. Two strong women, taking on a pattern of abuse that was largely committed by errant men and covered up by their male superiors, have met with hundreds of victims, educated thousands of lay Catholics, and addressed state legislators in the ongoing matter of clerical sexual abuse. ... PRINT ONLY

3.jpgThreads of reflection: a lace-making retreat

Concordia, Kan. . About 18 women attended a lace-making retreat June 18-25 at the Manna House of Prayer in Concordia, Kan. In its sixth summer, the retreat is a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph, and Srs. Janet Lander and Ramona Medina are presenters throughout the week. Participants range from beginner to advanced in lace-making. During the first three days, they are joined by Ronna Robertson, founder of the Sunflower Lacers of Kansas. Robertson learned lace-making from a lacemaker who studied in Le Puy, France. ... PRINT ONLY

4.jpgOn motorcycle or mountaintop, Franciscan lives her passion
Adventurous sister fulfills mission through ecology, art

Clay, the stuff of earth, is a metaphor for living into the depths of a contemplative spiritual life, believes Tiffin, Ohio, Franciscan Sr. Jane Frances Omlor. A self-taught pottery artist, builder and ardent environmentalist, Omlor reflects: “Clay is very flexible material. It’s wet and it’s soft. It stretches. When we are flexible, open to change, really put ourselves out there, and are willing to be stretched by God, who knows what surprising turns our lives will take?” ... PRINT ONLY

5.jpgJosephites prepare Nigerian priests to serve in the US

As Josephite Fr. Kenneth Ugwu sat in his office one early September day, a parishioner walked in with an odd request:
She said she wanted to apologize.

The woman caught the pastor offguard. He had arrived only a month before at Most Pure Heart of Mary Church in Mobile, Ala. — the centuryold, historically African-American parish and a focal point of the civil rights movement — and didn’t recognize
her, much less recall an incident requiring her contrition. ... PRINT ONLY

6.jpgMonks’ brewery part of new evangelization
Visitors can find beer and prayer at monastery in St. Benedict’s birthplace
By CINDY WOODEN, Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY . Even before retired Pope Benedict XVI set up a pontifical council for new evangelization and convoked a world Synod of Bishops on the theme, a new group of Benedictine monks was using Latin and liturgy to reach out to those whose faith was weak or nonexistent. Now they’ve added beer to the blend, and people are flocking to the monastery in Norcia, the birthplace of St. Benedict, about 70 miles northeast of Rome in Italy’s Umbrian countryside. ... PRINT ONLY