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Key project findings: where vitality is to be found in women’s apostolic religious life

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February 16, 2016

religious lifeREFLECTION - The purpose of this document is to present the key findings of the Religious Life Vitality Project to the participant congregations who have collaborated with us on it since early 2013 We express our sincere thanks and appreciation for your generous and patient participation, without which the project would not have been possible. Of the eighteen religious congregations who initially committed to taking part, thirteen were able to complete all the stages of the project until its end and are now receiving this final feedback. Those who made the difficult decision to withdraw did so for reasons of competing priorities, lack of time, resources and personnel or the exhaustion and desolation that derive from over-extension and urgent structural change. All of this illustrates the pressure on many women’s congregations at the present time. We have nevertheless heard from many participants that the very act of taking part and the resultant identification and awareness of many concrete signs of vitality has given you a new source of energy from which to draw strength and energy. We are delighted at this unexpected outcome. The report will provide both reflection on prioritised themes emerging from the exercise as a whole and feedback provided from guest theologians and from the project team, which is relevant to the work done by your individual congregation as part of the overall project. The project’s methodology is outlined in detail further on in this report. From the responses to the original Survey Monkey questionnaire on signs of vitality which participants perceived within religious life as currently lived within their congregation, 6 dominant themes were collated for further discussion. These were generally accepted by all the congregations.

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