Transforming Grace – The Work of Transformative Justice

Written on: June 3, 2024

By Sister Eileen White, GNSH

Sisters Diane Bardol and Eileen White participated in an LCWR sponsored 3-day workshop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from April 28-May 1, 2024. The title of the workshop was “Transforming Grace: The Work of Transformative Justice”. Its purpose was to provide skills and practices to help members of religious communities with the challenge of addressing polarization – which affects not only our country and our Church but even our families and friends. One of our speakers pointed out that when people are stuck in opposite views and tending toward demonizing “them,” the only solution is for one side or the other to be curious and humble enough to change – not by changing one’s principles, but by being open to learning the truth about and motivation for another viewpoint.

Teilhard de Chardin wrote:

“Our role is no longer to merely ease suffering, bind up wounds, and feed the hungry, but through every form of effort to raise the powers of love upward to the next stage of consciousness.”

Since last November, LCWR has provided its members with audio-video and written materials set in the context of the national elections campaigns. They supported participants in experiencing their own personal transformation and, in time, the transformation of consciousness of congregations. The Transforming Grace workshop, like the materials previously sent, provided time for silent reflection, study of polarization, white privilege, negotiation, and the practice of listening skills, all to help participants become more inclusive, more compassionate, more open, and more ready to be changed.

There were about 200 women and men attending the workshop days. Each congregation sent one of their leadership team, and their justice and communications coordinators. Amanda Davies was not able to attend, but she will be working with Diane and Eileen to experience some of what they experienced in Pittsburgh. They all look forward to sharing with everyone in the Grey Nun community what they hope will be transformative and hope-filled for our world.

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