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Sisters of the Little Way
I want to share some news with you about a new religious community that is starting out in Portland, Oregon, the Sisters of the Little Way of Beauty, Truth, and Goodness.
I’ve had a few conversations with Sr. Theresa Aletheia Noble, Sr. Maria Kim, and Sr. Danielle Victoria over the past month or so. I felt so much consolation when they told me about the mission and the work that the Lord is calling them to. From their website:
“Called and consecrated within Christ’s Heart and in the heart of the Church, we joyfully live a mission of listening, healing outreach, spiritual reparation, and solidarity with people who are despairing, doubting, and hopeless, and people on the fringes or outside of the Church, especially those people who have been wounded, scandalized, or abused by members of the Church.”
There are not many Catholic spaces for people who have been abused, harmed, and betrayed by clerics and lay leaders in the Church. Often people respond with “defend the Church at all costs” or “burn the Church down.” There are few spaces where both the harm we’ve experienced and our love for the Church is believed and valued. The Sisters of the Little Way are building that space. They deeply and genuinely understood my story without me having to explain or defend myself.
They also understand that real reform and renewal is necessary if we hope to be any kind of light to the world. They wrote:
“Whether we are practicing Catholics, on the edge of the pew, or have already left the Church, the following statistics tell us something we already know deep in our bones.
The Church is bleeding members and she is bleeding from the wounds caused by her own members.
In the U.S. the percentage of Catholics who belonged to a parish declined to 58% from 76% between 1998 and 2020—twice the rate of decline among Protestants (Gallup).
37 percent of American Catholics in 2019 say news of reported sexual abuse by priests had them reexamining their religion, up from 22 percent in 2002 (Gallup).
A 2021 survey found that 31% of adult U.S. Catholics said the abuse crisis has made them embarrassed to identify themselves as Catholic (CARA at Georgetown University).
These signs of darkness in the Church make clear the need for deep renewal and healing. This sorely needed, profound reform calls us to leave behind the status quo, take risks, reorganize our efforts, and embrace new ways of thinking rooted in the Gospel.”
I encourage you to check out the sisters’ website.
Please pray for them. The work they are doing is not easy and will come at real cost, but it is work that is so necessary and good.
You can also financially support them by donating through Zelle or by mailing a check using this form. They also have an Amazon list for their household needs and a list of books you can purchase for their library.