Our most recent offerings
Publications are arranged chronologically with the most recent listed first.
Transformative Community in an Era of Societal Change
by Mark Clarke, July 2023
From the great trials of humanity – among them this Pandemic- one emerges better or worse. You don’t emerge the same. I ask this of you: how do you want to come out of it? Better or worse? (O’Murchu 1).
Quoted in O’Murchu’s book, Pope Francis posed this question to the world, which is now the sacred question before us. The Covid-19 Pandemic awoke not only the reality of the world's interconnectedness but also critical social concerns such as racism, sexism, and inequality of resources, issues that were always present only below the surface.
This reflection will consider the implications of the Pope’s question to us as members of the greater society and our singular religious community. It will also continue the thread of reflections about the current and emerging roles of the transformative community. As a society, we must ask how do we want to transverse the lingering trials of the Pandemic and the other challenges for better or worse. How do we respond to the question asked by Pope Francis?
Pathways to Transforming Governance
A Collaborative Endeavor by:
Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd
Sisters of Notre Dame
Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation asked CommunityWorks, Inc. to explore what prompts a congregation to change its government structure; what benefits are gained; what might congregations worldwide learn from those in the process of changing their structures.
Three congregations, the Sisters of Notre Dame, the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, and the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, worked collaboratively with CommunityWorks, Inc. on this endeavor and were supported by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA). Accessing CARA’s expertise, five other congregations were surveyed to ascertain how they went about changing their government structure. CARA collaborated with the Sisters of Notre Dame to evaluate their initial implementation of their new model of governance.
This document entitled: Pathways to Transforming Governance is a seven-part series that outlines in a user-friendly way the learnings and insights of the past two years.
Transformative Community: Transforming Our Narrative for These Times
by Mark Clarke, October 2022
In his last speech to Parliament, Winston Churchill talked not about politics but spirit. “Spirit is what lies beyond our senses, thoughts, and feelings. Spirit is pure. Spirit is tranquil. Spirit is in harmony with truth… this is the essence of humanity – your true self or what I am calling your Inner Core” (Wadhwa 36). Churchill understood that an organization’s capacity to have an impact is rooted in its core corporate narrative. The collective meaning experienced in the fundamental core is rooted in its mission, vision, and values. When simultaneously a group is faithful to this aspirational call, the world experiences them as having integrity and authenticity.
The Gift of Vulnerability
by Hilary Musgrave, January 2022
As we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany, we take time to marvel and wonder at the mystery of the incarnation. One of the beautiful mysteries we encounter in the birth of Jesus is the vulnerability of God expressed in God’s total embrace of our humanity in Jesus. The notion of a vulnerable God may be challenging for some. However, when we look to Jesus; when we reflect on his life and his death, we begin to appreciate something of the nature and quality of God’s vulnerability.
We know that each morning Jesus got up long before dawn to be with God. What happened in that prayer time? We know he was completely at home with God and shared his experiences with God. What would Jesus have said about his heartache at the suffering and pain he saw around him, or about the insincerity and hypocrisy of the spiritual leaders? (Matthew 23:1 – 12). What would he have shared with God about the affirmation he received from others (Luke 7:1 – 10) or about the criticism and judgements that were thrown at him? (Luke 6:7). What would Jesus have shared with God about refusing to help a Canaanite woman until she challenged him? (Matthew 15:21 – 28) We see in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36 – 46) Jesus’ absolute fear and total vulnerability with God. What was the movement within him that empowered him to move from “let this chalice pass from me” to “not my will but yours be done”? (Matthew 26:39)
Called to Love: A Charism for 21st Century Mystics and Prophets
by Debbie Asberry, July 2021
In this article, Deborah Asberry explores ideas about modern mystics and invites readers into an exploration of the intersection of current movements and the evolution of prophetic life forms in our 21st-century world.
Rooted at the Intersection of Shared Leadership and the Learning Community
by Mark Clarke, September 2021
Every meeting, gathering, and time together is an opportunity to learn, build capacity, and define the path forward. Each session is a sacred space for each individual to be still, listen to the group's movement, and discern the next steps.
Transformative Communities co-create with God by providing a safe emotional container for engaging in dialogue, envisioning the future, and creating collective capacity for growth and development. Many contemporary religious communities experience this concept as a transformative process in pursuit of their charism and mission. These entities establish their internal cultures in a Shared Leadership and Learning Community framework and engage in ongoing discernment. As an active Learning Community, the group explores emerging questions and growth areas that open the window to developing the next steps.
Living and Leading Transformative Communities
In an Era of Societal Crisis
by Mark Clarke, March 2021
This article by Mark Clarke takes the transformative community and its leadership into a deeper place of living and being transformative agents in a time of crisis.
"As Transformative Communities enter this process of change, they must reaffirm their essence grounded in their charism and mission. This rootedness becomes the foundation for continual exploration of a shared direction, shared values, and shared meaning for these times. It summons the group to pursue a bold and engaging North Star that demands intense communal soul work fostered by learning through action."