Beyond the Crossroads
By: Amy Hereford
"Throughout this thoughtfully written book, the search for authentic community occurs on virtually every page. Evolving from the former institution to what increasingly resembles an ecosystem, religious life in the 21st century has largely outgrown both the motherhouse and the parish-based house in favor of the 'wildflower meadow,' a small interdependent group acting as a leaven with expansive possibilities for new forms of collaboration. For Hereford, this is the new horizon capable of promising future realistic hope for the vowed life." --Diarmuid O'Murchu, author, Religious Life in the Twenty-First Century
Building on her previous acclaimed work Religious Life at the Crossroads, Sister Amy Hereford draws attention to emerging currents, particularly among the smaller cohorts of younger religious, to reflect on the ongoing meaning of vows, formation, community, and mission, amidst rapid changes in the church and society.
Although those in religious life today face an uncertain future, many things are becoming clear. As the author notes, “We know that we will be smaller groups and that our various networks will become more important. For this reason, we know that we will need different skills and that we will be less institutional and closer to those we serve. The seeds of these changes have been present for decades, and are becoming more important moving forward.”
Amy Hereford, CSJ, is a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet from St. Louis. An attorney and canonist, she consults with many religious institutes on a wide variety of legal matters. Her previous book, Religious Life at the Crossroads: A School for Mystics and Prophets (Orbis), received a first place award from the Catholic Press Association.