Members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious have embarked on a corporate contemplative process to help shape religious life as it moves into the future in ways that are responsive to the realities emerging in the world and church.

The process centers on the line from Isaiah 43:19, “Behold, I am doing something new... Can you not perceive it?”and is designed to enhance LCWR’s commitment to:

  • Empower the conference to stand on the horizon, alert to the emerging new questions and ideas that impact religious life, and particularly religious life leadership
  • Engage LCWR members in an exploration of the significant new questions shaping religious life today
  • Provide leaders with resources, analyses, and ideas for exercising anticipatory leadership within their own institutes as they engage the emerging questions with the members of their institutes.

This issue of Occasional Papers is intended to assist members to enter fully into this conference-wide process.


  • The Journey to Newness:  Mining the Wisdom of the Exilic Literature
    Nancy Schreck, OSF probes the ancient utterances of promise, hope, and new life contained in the Exile stories of the First Testament and their relevance for religious life today
  • What Calls for Our Attention in the Contemporary World
    In an interview, Rev. Charles E. Curran reflects on current trends in the world and church today and the moral questions religious life leaders need to consider
  • Readying Ourselves to See the New
    Retreat leader and spiritual director Rose Mary Dougherty, SSND offers ideas for leaders on seeing the world with a contemplative gaze and thus preparing to see the new
  • Contemplating the  World and its Call to Religious Life through the Arts
    Women religious poets and artists offer a contemplative look at the reality of the world through the arts
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