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Liturgical Press

New Faces, New Possibilities

Cultural Diversity and Structural Change in Institutes of Women Religious

Edited by Thomas P. Gaunt, SJ, and Thu T. Do, LHC

New Faces, New Possibilities SEE INSIDE
New Faces, New Possibilities

ISBN: 9780814667392, 6739

Details: 208 pgs, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 3/8
Publication Date: 04/27/2022
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Religious sisters have created educational and healthcare systems over the past two hundred years that have transformed the Catholic community in the United States. Through their ministry, sisters have served waves of immigrants and those pushed to the margins. The growing cultural diversity of newer sisters and the diminishing number of older sisters, therefore, is both a challenge and a creative moment to be critically examined.

This book examines these changes in culture and ethnicity among sisters, the structural impact of diminishing numbers, and the creative response to this new reality for religious life in the United States. In it, sisters from a variety of generations, cultures, and institutes join with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) researchers to examine and reflect on CARA's recent research findings and their impact on the life and ministry of sisters today.

Thomas P. Gaunt, SJ, PhD, is a Jesuit of the USA East Province. He has a PhD in city planning from the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill. Previously he was the executive secretary of the Jesuit Conference—USA, and director of formation and studies for the Jesuits of the Maryland and New York Provinces. Among his publications are: Catholic Parishes of the 21st Century, Pathways to Religious Life, and Catholic Bishops in the United States: Church Leadership in the Third Millennium.

Sister Thu T. Do, LHC, PhD, is a Sister of the Lovers of the Holy Cross of Hanoi and a CARA research associate. She received her PhD in higher education at St. Louis University. Her dissertation focused on understanding the scholarship initiative for international religious sisters in Catholic higher education institutions. She coauthored Migration for Mission: International Catholic Sisters in the United States. At CARA, she is involved in various survey research projects, specializing in the area of religious life.

ISBN: 9780814667392, 6739

Details: 208 pgs, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 3/8
Publication Date: 04/27/2022


"This book offers a comprehensive and insightful contribution to understanding transformations experienced in the institutes of consecrated life in the United States and globally. It is unique in that most of the chapters articulate the realities of aging members and the cultural and ethnic diversity of the emerging religious institutes. The book documents thoughtful reflections, learnings, and innovative ways religious institutes are reimaging new structures for mission and charism, including discernment processes and new governance and collaborative models. This book invites us into the emerging creative field of research on consecrated life. Regardless of the challenges facing religious life today, this book affirms the core tenet of consecrated women's fidelity to God and pragmatic listening to contemporary challenges as an opportunity to learn and respond to new realities with new possibilities, hope, wisdom, and grace."
Sister Jane Wakahiu, LSOSF, Associate Vice President of Programs Operations and Head Catholic Sisters Initiative at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

"For those seeking to understand contemporary religious life for women, this book sheds light on a complex picture."

"This book has the potential to enlighten, encourage, and support what is already going on and what is emerging in women's religious life in this country. It is hoped that this book will be widely read, studied, discussed, and its implications implemented not only by current leaders but by the rank and file who will live through what is emerging, and that the material it provides will facilitate the transformation that is required if religious life is to find its footing in a new sociocultural religious setting."
Theological Studies

"This edited volume takes a big step to paint an accurate picture of both the peril and the promise that congregations of women religious face in this first quarter of the twenty-first century."
Catholic Books Review

"An excellent review of several recent CARA studies and an outstanding way to summarize them in one place. It is a great resource for current or new leaders in religious communities."
American Benedictine Review