October 15, 2021 – Here’s a roundup of some recent news on religious life.

Two pieces of synod news. First, Pope Francis spoke about the importance of women religious for the synodal process during an audience with the Sisters of Charity of St. Jeanne-Antide Thouret. Among other things, he said:

You consecrated women are an irreplaceable presence in the great community on the move, which is the church…Consecrated women are an extension of the female presence which walked with Jesus and the Twelve, sharing the mission and making your own unique contribution.

See more details in the CNS story at Catholic Spirit.

Card. Mario Grech, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, released a second letter to monastic and contemplative communities on October 15th (the first can be accessed here). Card. Grech reinforces his previous requests for the prayers of monastic and contemplative communities but now adds an additional appeal: posting of prayers or prayer images as a tangible sign of the work being done. He writes:

Our prayer, which springs from silence and contemplation, can be of immense help to the entire Church….It is my great pleasure that it will be you, brothers and sisters called to a monastic and contemplative life, who will begin to weave this invisible thread of prayer.

He goes on to encourage submissions to english@prayersforthesyond.va.

Two other pieces of news, both about women religious. First, an article by Catholic News Service in the Catholic Review discusses the growth of consecrated virginity as a unique form of consecrated life. Second, the Washington Post offers an obituary of Sr. Megan Rice, SHCJ, a well-known proponent of nuclear disarmament and civil disobedience. She famously broke into an East Tennessee nuclear facility at the age of 82,  spray-painting slogans and protesting against the presence of the weapons (an incident well documented in Dan Zak’s book Almighty). She died October 10th, 2021, at the age of 91. May she rest in peace.