The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) has released a new book, However Long the Night: Making Meaning in a Time of Crisis, that chronicles what the organization learned as it went through a six-year doctrinal investigation by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).
CDF publicly questioned the fundamentals of LCWR and called for a reform of the organization, an action that stirred great concern among members of the Catholic Church, and many others throughout the world who saw the Vatican’s action as repressive and unjust. In the book, the Catholic sisters who were leaders of LCWR during those years share what helped them navigate that crisis in ways that might be useful for anyone attempting to work through confrontation in today’s fractured world.
The authors not only explain how they led a large and complex organization through this difficult period, but with great transparency share how their own spiritual grounding helped them make this journey. Through the sharing of their own stories, these leaders describe methods, processes, and practices that are readily translatable for use by other individuals, communities, and organizations as they weather a crisis. Readers will see how these women handled the decisions that confront any of us when faced with conflict. How to build relationships that cross divides? How to embody humility, while staying true to one’s mission, and operating with integrity? How to manage anger and respond with strategies that create peace? How to find truth in complex situations? How to handle media attention if the conflict becomes public? Each chapter of this inspirational book includes questions for the readers’ own reflection. The questions can also serve as guides for book groups and discussion circles.
I have no hesitation in stating that this is the best leadership book I have yet to read on how to lead through a crisis-laden time and emerge with one’s integrity, community, capacity, and faith stronger for the experience….
Here is a guidebook of consciously earned wisdom for how to walk through such dark struggles and not lose our way.
— Margaret Wheatley, Author