Crossing a Threshold to New Life: The Call to BE Pioneers Once Again

Vocations Ireland – February 1, 2023

Lynn M. Levo, CSJ, Ph.D. Conference 1Feb 2023


Vocations Ireland hosted their Spring Conference in Mount St Anne’s Retreat Centre on the Feast of St Brigid.

Margaret Cartwright welcomed everyone to the conference. She was joined by her Executive & colleagues from AMRI.

The opening prayer was prepared by Sr Eileen O’Connell OP,led by Anne Marie Whelan from the Bon Secured in Cork. The opening prayer included a liturgical dance by Sr Lumay Thomas FMM. Sr Mary Healy blessed St Brigids Crosses & all those who attended.

Fr Colm OSA opened the conference reflecting on the role of Vocations Ireland in the promotion & nurturing vocational life in all Religious Congregations. He reminded delegates of the vision of VI that ‘we aim to nurture a culture of vocation.’ Fr Malachy Thompson ocso outlined the financial situation & challenges both of VI and in each congregation. Carol Anne Henry facilitated the day.

The keynote speaker was Sr Lynn Levo CSJ PH.d via zoom.

Some key points that were highlighted was that Hope Matters.  Jurgen Moltman was quoted “Hope is a future-orientated, divinely-inspired dissatisfaction with what is…those who hope in Christ, can no longer put up with reality as it is – too many are suffering”.

Lynn spoke about new frontiers for those in religious life. How we are at a point of beginning again highlighting the way we frame this time, our mindset, will shape how we can make sense of the world and of our life.

We considered how if we might embrace a pioneering spirit.  With this as a mindset, this would influence how we live our charism and respond to the challenges and opportunities of our time. We explored the characteristics of 21st century pioneers, how pioneers are risk takers Lk 18:22 Jn1:38-39 and how Pioneers establish what will become the next normal.  Lynn reflected with us on Pioneers as Visionaries and person of Faith.

For me she summed up what it means to be pioneers of a future.  A future that we do not yet know what it will look like, when she quoted Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ. 1881-1958

“We are called to be pioneers. Pioneers who stand on the edge of great beginnings, of unseen futures. Pioneers filled with unwarranted confidence that visions give.  Pioneers whose eyes and ears are elsewhere, who hear an echo of possibilities……… A passionate love of growth, that is what we need.   The future is in our hands.”

There were buzz sessions and an open forum with Sr Lynn. Some key points from the presentation discussed and a sharing on future initiatives.

There was great energy in the day and a sense of joy and blessing.   V.I. Executive look forward to continuing the discussion and reflection on this topic with Sr Lynn to listen, see and hear the echo of new possibilities.

Vocations Ireland Conference 1st February 2023