Nuns and ‘Nones’

Written on: November 27, 2017

Nuns and Nones (religiously unaffiliated young adults) met for two days at Cranaleith Spiritual Center, sharing conversation, contemplation, reflection and nourishment.  Sr. Mary Elizabeth Looby, GNSH, was one of the 14 religious women who met with these 9 young adults who were performance artists, interfaith folks, social justice advocates, workers with sanctuary movements, communications and ecologically concerned persons and doctoral students. Some had never met a sister before; some were formerly Catholic or from other faith traditions.

Conversations like this have been happening in many places around the country, organized by Adam Horowitz, (organizer of the “U.S. Department of Arts and Culture” people-powered 

department—a grassroots action network inciting creativity and social imagination to shape a culture of empathy, equity, and belonging. ) and Wayne Muller, a United Church of Christ pastor.

As we talked, the similarities between sisters, Nuns, and Nones, became so obvious. Both Nuns and Nones:

* are on the margins or fringes of our traditions;

* have a track record of challenging institutions in order to promote inclusion and justice;

* are seeking community that is open to questions and the continuous search for meaning.

The Nuns, shared their stories of call and mission. The Nones were stunned at what was going on in the lives of these older women who have histories dating back many centuries. One decided we needed much more publicity about what congregations are doing (she was a communications person!)

The Nones spoke about their desire for community, inclusion and justice. The sisters were impressed with the work that these folks were into and heard their desire to be included and part of a larger fabric of life.  They need to be supported and encouraged and often feel alone.

What people saw coming out of this meeting was connection, support, networking, community building, reciprocal and intentional sharing of resources, bibliography.

For further information about “Nuns and Nones” and the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture:

The LCWR Occasional Papers also published an article on the phenomenon of young, unchurched  adults connecting with Sisters. The Hunger for Depth and Meaning Among Millennials

2 thoughts on “Nuns and ‘Nones’

  1. Sisters Lea and Consilia says:

    Thank you so much for this article, for your great work, and for the very helpful web links included. You are definitely on the right track with this work! We are interested as well and will be getting up to speed on Nuns and Dones.

  2. Nancy Gormley Schaub, Class of '64 says:

    Wonderful article and what a way to open a door to communication. I hope it continues. Too many are unaware of the good works of the Sisters.

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