(from the Global Sisters Report)
Switching between podium and piano, keynote speaker Christopher Pramuk played slave spirituals and U2 hits for the 786 sisters attending the annual assembly of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, held Aug. 8-11 in Orlando, Florida.
He struck a chord metaphorically, too: Pramuk, a theologian from Regis University in Denver*, tied together the concepts of music, grief and refuge in his lecture, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken? Leaning Into the Mystery of Resurrection Faith.”
In his speech, Pramuk emphasized “the vulnerability of living from this vision of a future that cannot yet be seen, of loving and leading others into these liminal spaces between life and death, between what is and what is yet possible” — just as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had.
“Here is the distinctive paradox at the heart of Christianity: that our faith in life on the other side of death galvanizes our courage to labor for justice on this side.” He called to mind sisters who have been killed, including Notre Dame Sr. Dorothy Stang; the four Missionary of Charity sisters in Yemen; and, in Mississippi, Srs. Paula Merrill, of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, and Margaret Held, of the School Sisters of St. Francis of Milwaukee.
Merrill’s and Held’s congregations, he pointed out, stood against the death penalty for the man charged with their murders.