Wednesday, January 19, 2011

American Nun’s Visitation

Begun in 2009 by the Vatican, the progress is detailed in this article from Catholic World Report.

An excerpt.

“What ever happened to the apostolic visitation of women religious in the United States that was announced in 2009? Is it still happening? If so, how is it going, and what might be the outcome?

“Many people have been asking these questions, for Church officials have had very little to say publicly about the visitation. This silence is common practice with apostolic visitations, which normally are initiated to address problems of some kind. The lack of public discourse, however, should not be translated as inactivity.

“In fact, Mother Mary Clare Millea, the American superior general of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who was appointed by the Vatican to conduct the visitation, had personal meetings with more than 100 religious superiors during phase one of the four-phase visitation. In the second phase, orders were asked to respond to a questionnaire about their work, life, and prayer together as well as their financial status. In the third phase, teams of visitors called on nearly 100 congregations of women religious during 2010. That on-site visiting phase of the apostolic visitation was completed in December.

“All that now remains to be accomplished is the fourth phase: preparation of a report by Mother Clare that will include results of the interviews conducted by the teams of visitors, as well as information Mother Clare gathered from the other 300-plus congregations that did not receive an on-site visit. During 2011, Mother Clare will write and submit her report to Cardinal Franc Rode, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. Each order of sisters in the US will receive some kind of feedback from that curial office “for the purpose of promoting its charismatic identity and apostolic vitality in ongoing dialogue with the local and universal Church,” wrote Mother Clare in a January 12, 2010 letter to all US women superiors.

“While the visitation is on schedule, and anecdotal reports indicate that the on-site visits went very smoothly and amicably, the entire project has faced significant challenges, including confusion about the apostolic visitation and the separate doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious; the resistance of some women religious; the manipulation of the visitation process by some religious superiors; and the role the media has played since the announcement of the visitation.”