November 5, 2021 – Here’s a roundup of some recent news on religious life.

Commonweal‘s latest issue features nine stories on religious communities today. Some of these – like the community of Sant’Egidio – are largely lay movements with a strong communal element. Other stories, however, like those on the Norbertine monks of Santa Maria del Vid or the Dominican Sisters of Peace, focus on communities of consecrated religious. Take a look at the series on Commonweal‘s landing page.

Thinking Faith has a fascinating article on Fr. Friedrich Spee, SJ, who was assigned the unusual role of confessor to witches in 17th century Germany. His experience with the witch trials changed him deeply, and led him to reject witch trials as a worthwhile endeavor. Read the story here.

In Vatican news, Pope Francis has appointed another women religious to a high-ranking post. Sr. Raffaella Petrini, FSE will be the new Secretary General of the Governorate of Vatican City State. She joins Sr. Nathalie Becquart, XMCJ and Sr. Alessandra Smerilli, FMA to create an unprecedented level of authority for women religious within the Vatican. America via Catholic News Service has more here.

The 26th Conference of the Parties – commonly called the UN Climate Change Conference or COP26 and held this year in Glasgow, Scotland – included women religious who attended and voiced their concerns about climate change. Global Sisters Report has compiled a number of their writings here.

Finally, the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles – known for their music such as Angels and Saints at Ephesus – have released a new album on October 26, 2021. You can preview the work on their website or find it on large streaming platforms like Spotify or Amazon Music.