There are two Church issues that have been of concern to us lately:
Firstly there is the issue of the Vatican visitation or scrutiny of active religious congregations of women religious in the U.S.
Sr. Sandra Schneiders, IHM has written the most clear explanation of what is going on here. Her article, which gives a historical perspective, can be found from National Catholic Reporter at this link:
Basically she reviews the ways in which women’s congregations were set up in ancient days to incorporate monastic characteristics while maintaining active, effective, ministerial outreach. Unfortunately, modern congregations were never intended to be monastic, even from our earliest beginnings. It is why she calls us “ministerial religious.” Both Mike and Nick’s order and my congregation are itinerant (Francis and Dominic traveled to be with the people) and evangelical (Francis and Dominic preached the Good News). She urges congregations to reject any directive that draws us into monasticism (cloister, habit, order of the day, daily public recitation of the Divine Office etc.).
Secondly there is the issue of the new translation of the Roman Missal, commonly called the Sacramentary. This is the official prayer book of the Mass. Nick has a blog about this new translation. Bishop Donald Trautman of Erie, PA, former head of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy urges all of us People of God to speak up and speak out. The changes in the language that are expected are archaic, non inclusive and awkward to say the least. For example, one sample prayer with the “new” translation uses the following words: “Father”, “ineffably”, “inviolate” and “gibbet”. This is not the language of contemporary people who gather around the table these days…! Gloria Ulterino, M.Div. of New York has provided her email address Glorialbf@aol.com and will give a sample letter we can use to speak out as well as more material on this matter. Francis Cardinal George of Chicago is the president of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference and his email address can be found at this site: www.cta-usa.org/justchurch/bishops list. Gloria writes for Call To Action and concludes by saying “We need to make our voices heard!”