Pathways and Promises: Reporting the Results of the Religious Life Future Project

Nygren, David, and Miriam Ukeritis, presenters. "Pathways and Promises: Reporting the Results of the Religious Life Future Project." Teleconference. Catholic Telecommunications Network of America, October 3, 1992.

On October 3, 1992, the Catholic Telecommunications Network of America broadcast a ninety-minute teleconference in which David Nygren, CM, and Miriam Ukeritis, CSJ, reported the results of the Religious Life Futures Project. Religious nationwide were able to participate in the discussion by satellite. The program, hosted by journalist Susan Anderson, begins with an interview in which Nygren and Ukeritis explain their methodology and share some of the most significant findings of their study. They emphasize that religious orders have a "ten-year window of opportunity" to make necessary changes, after which they will enter into "irreversible decline." They advise religious orders to embrace the rigor of the gospel, to return to their founding purposes, and develop new ways to respond to unmet needs. The remainder of the broadcast is divided into segments that discuss the study's findings on role clarity, membership, mission and ministry, and leadership. The final section of the video identifies the characteristics of outstanding leaders of religious communities: an awareness of God's presence, commitment to influencing society, the absence of an excessive need for belonging, an interest in using knowledge and data, the ability to move the group forward to accomplish its mission. Nygren and Ukeritis report that many religious do not currently possess all of these characteristics, but insist that they can be trained.