Multicultural is not intercultural: GSR talks to sister leaders

Multicultural is not intercultural: Global Sisters Report talks to sister leaders

A recent conversation between Global Sisters Report and leaders from the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) covered a wide range of topics important to religious life today, including civil discourse in an era of political polarization, helping congregations to be intercultural and learning from those that are, and the importance of moving from narratives about numbers to the conviction that there are enough women religious for God’s plan.

We talked to Sr. Pat Murray, executive secretary of UISG, Sr. Teresa Maya, president of LCWR, and Sr. Joan-Marie Steadman, executive director of LCWR, on Nov. 29 as part of our annual planning process for topics to cover in the coming year. An edited version of the conversation is available here.

UISG’s Migrant Project/Sicily, in which sisters from various congregations assist migrants on the island, is an example of an intercongregational initiative that could be replicated elsewhere, Murray said.

“Maybe that’s another way religious orders can help support each other,” Murray said. “They may not have sisters on the front line, but they can offer their houses, their retreat houses or other resources to support those who are.”

Changing demographics in the global sisterhood — vocations are growing in Africa and Asia and shrinking in the United States and Europe — requires a greater emphasis on interculturality, learning to have different cultures interact and enrich the community, the sisters said.

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