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Sustaining the ministry of sponsorship

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Slides from presentation at the Benedictine Pedagogy Conference 2013, held at Benedictine University, Lisle, IL.

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Sustaining the ministry of sponsorship

  1. 1. Sr. Edith Bogue, O.S.B., Ph.D. Associate Professor, Sociology Sister Beverly Raway, O.S.B., Ph.D. Associate Professor, Nursing Benedictine Pedagogy Conference 2013 Benedictine University, Lisle IL
  2. 2. Sponsorship Considerations • CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS ―Monastery, College, US Population • UNDERSTANDINGS OF SPONSORSHIP ―Formal relationship or Ministry • PARTNERING FOR COMMON GOALS ―Recruiting, Retaining • SUSTAINING THE MINISTRY ― Commitment, Goals, Collaboration
  3. 3. CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS
  4. 4. Seeing change • A graphic presentation of one community’s growth and then decrease of membership. • Each “dot” represents one sister, ranging in age from the teens on the left to the 90s on the right.
  5. 5. 1892
  6. 6. 1899
  7. 7. 1909 The community begins to think about extending its high school to include a college as well. “Sponsorship” is inherent in the Sisters’ ownership & roles.
  8. 8. 1919
  9. 9. 1929
  10. 10. 1939
  11. 11. 1949
  12. 12. 1959
  13. 13. 1969 The College is beginning to grow after 25 years of stable size. Separately incorporated, Sisters now sit on Board, but exercise sponsorship through daily contact.
  14. 14. 1979
  15. 15. 1989
  16. 16. 1996
  17. 17. 2001
  18. 18. 2006
  19. 19. 2012
  20. 20. 1969 and 2012 The monastic community is about 18% of its peak size. Fewer than 10 are employed in the College; others serve on the Board. The pool for the future is small.
  21. 21. This pattern is common in US 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 1965 1975 1985 1995 2000 2005 2012 Thousands US Religious Men (Priests + Brothers) US Religious sisters 70% decrease 52% decrease Center for Applied Research on the Apostolate Frequently Requested Statistics http://cara.georgetown.edu/CARAServices/requestedchurchstats.html
  22. 22. Colleges are growing … The student body in 2012 is 800% of the size of that of 1965.
  23. 23. Differences among students Traditional students: 25-30% are Catholic. Online / extended studies students: About 13% report that they are Catholic.
  24. 24. 1 in 3 Young Adults is a “None” Percent by Age Group 9 15 21 32 90 84 77 67 0 20 40 60 80 100 65+ 50-64 30-49 18-29 AGEGROUP No religious affiliation Any religious affiliation Aggregated from Pew Research Center Surveys January – July 2012 https://twitter.com/pewforum/status/337618956355518467/photo/1
  25. 25. Changing student dynamics • Is there a critical mass of Catholic students? Christian students? Religious students? • How do the non-Catholic and the non-religious students affect sponsorship & charism? • What about future lay faculty and staff?
  26. 26. Face of Catholicism is changing • Generational differences within Catholics. • Over half of Catholics under 40 are now Hispanic or members of other non-White racial or ethnic groups ―Contrasts with the northern European heritage of most of our Benedictine communities
  27. 27. Shifting Demographics of American Catholics 78 70 60 47 44 61 66 16 24 32 47 47 32 15 5 7 8 7 9 7 19 0 20 40 60 80 100 65+ 50-64 40-49 30-39 18-29 All Catholics US General Public White Hispanic Other U.S. Catholics: Key Data from Pew Research http://www.pewresearch.org/2013/02/25/u-s-catholics-key-data-from-pew-research/#popchange
  28. 28. CHANGING UNDERSTANDING OF SPONSORSHIP
  29. 29. Two Perspectives “We are refocusing our commitment of sponsorship in ways that invite those who work with us to bear witness to Gospel values through deeds of love and service.” -Annunciation Monastery Sponsorship…is a formal relationship between a recognized Catholic organization and a legally formed entity, entered into for the sake of promoting and sustaining the Church’s mission in the world. -Canon Law Society of America Committee on Consecrated Life
  30. 30. “We, the women and men of the Church, are in the middle of a love story: each of us is a link in this chain of love…” “When the Church wants to boast of its quantity and makes organizations, and makes offices and become somewhat bureaucratic, then the Church loses its main substance and is in danger of turning into an NGO.” “And the Church is not an NGO. It's a love story ... Offices are required ... ok! but they are necessary up to a certain point: as an aid to this love story. But when organization takes first place, love falls down and the Church, poor thing, becomes an NGO. And this is not the way forward.” Pope Francis Homily, 24 April 2013
  31. 31. Sponsorship as ministry • Monastic communities founded colleges as a way of sharing this Gospel “love story” • As monastic ministry, sponsorship continues the Gospel love story and – when needed – may question a bureaucratic focus.
  32. 32. PARTNERING FOR COMMON GOALS
  33. 33. Recruitment • “Cultural competence” ―“Everybody is ethnocentric. So what can we do about it?” ―“The WEIRDest people in the world” • Counter-cultural relevance ―“Your ways should not be the same as the world’s ways” ―Respond to the emptiness and loneliness of modern life Barger, Ken. (2008) Ethnocentrism. http://www.iupui.edu/~anthkb/ethnocen.htm Henrich et al (2010) The WEIRDest people in the world http://ssrn.com/abstract=1601785
  34. 34. Retention • Mission-centered coordination with Benedictine or faith-based organizations for internships, service-learning, employment. • College-Monastery coordination to prepare new monastics for roles, and structure roles to strengths of new members.
  35. 35. SUSTAINING THE MINISTRY
  36. 36. Sustaining: More than Surviving • Commitment to sponsorship ministry • Goals for sponsorship • Developing the ministry of sponsorship ―Formation for Benedictine communities ―Formation for College / University communities • Monasteries collaborating with each other to carry out the ministry of sponsorship.
  37. 37. A ministry of sponsorship can connect the monastery and the college so that they work together to build a future in which their shared love of learning carries the Gospel ‘love story’ into the future.

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