One of the Quick Links (blue box) sections on the home page of the website <maryknollaffiliates.org> is entitled "Developing Global Consciousness". Most of the content for this section over the last year or so has come to us thanks to Sr. Theresa Baldini of the Maryknoll Sister Contemplative Community. As the section implies, these readings are substantive and reflective. If you open this section now, you'll see Sr. Helene O'Sullivan MM's précis for Chapters 4 & 5 of Diarmuid O'Murchu's insightful new book, Religious Life in the 21st Century - The Prospect for Refounding. For those of you who have read any of O"Murchu's books, you'll know that, while his focus is religious life, so much in the book extends beyond religious life and has application for all of us. To check out this section, go to: http://maryknollaffiliates.org/developing-global-consciousness.html
Below is an excerpt from the 1st paragraph of this section.
Chapter 4. Parable and Paradigm in the History of Religious Life
We now move into the story of Religious Life as we have known it for almost two thousand years. Most history books tend to prioritize those who advanced the church’s progress and defended it against heresy and attack, namely, outstanding patriarchal males. Women in general and vowed women specifically were not meant to be visible in the church’s agenda of power and control and therefore for most of Christian history (down to the 19th century) women were officially “silenced” by monastic enclosure. The historical texts rarely, if ever, acknowledge that throughout Christendom women Religious made significant, even major, contributions. This grave injustice needs to be addressed and rectified.