Fond du Lac Nuns & Nones
What happens when Catholic sisters and spiritually diverse millennials
come together in shared conversation?
On Thursday, March 5, 2020, immediately following the 16th annual CSA Women’s Leadership Breakfast, the new Fond du Lac chapter of Nuns and Nones had its first gathering. The name of the group, taken from the national organization, references gatherings between women religious (“Nuns”) and spiritually-diverse attendees who may not fit into a specific religious identity (“Nones”). Six Sisters of St. Agnes joined seven “Nones” to reflect on spaces of sacred hospitality, the national Nuns and Nones mission statement (“We create prophetic communities of care and contemplation that incite courageous action.”), and the constant need for self-reflection.
During her remarks earlier in the morning, facilitator Katie Gordon, spoke on how foundresses serve as an inspiration for sustainable social activism for both ends of the Nuns and Nones spectrum:
Individuals interested in learning more about joining future Fond du Lac Area Nuns and Nones gatherings can sign-up or get more information by emailing Dusty Krikau.
"The Nuns and Nones project seeks to bring these two intergenerational groups together in order to explore new forms of community life, help millennials see models for sustainable activism and create an intergenerational network of connections, what the project’s website describes as “an unlikely alliance across communities of spirit.” Different people emphasized different turning points in the origin of the project, but the sisters and millennials I interviewed all agreed: It began with a gathering, a circle, and it began with conversation. ...
"For the “exhausted” millennials who are themselves involved in activism, Ms. Gordon said that “sisters are an example of women who have been involved with these issues for 50 plus years and have found ways to sustain themselves.” For millennials who have felt marginalized due to church teachings on their sexual identity, and for young feminists, according to Ms. Gordon, sisters show how to be “women within a church that doesn’t always recognize women to their fullest leadership capacity” has also provided a model for seeing “what gifts come with being on the edge of a tradition, and what challenges are there as well.”
The above is an excerpt from an article written by Kaya Oakes and published in the September 4, 2018 issue of America Magazine.
Nuns and Nones groups ...
... are more than events. They are places for relationship, dialogue, spiritual practice, and social action.
... are joyful, spirit-led, and held by the capable hands of committed organizers.
... are rooted in mutual learning — not the persuasion of belief.
... aim to bring forth a more just and loving world, no longer dependent on systems of extraction and oppression.
... are pluralistic, welcoming of all identities, and are LGBTQ affirming.
... at their best, grow into committed community.
Women’s Leadership Breakfast 2020
Want to participate in Fond du Lac's own "Nuns and Nones" gathering? Get details here.
About the Speaker
Katie Gordon is a seeker of connection and community.
Katie is a national organizer of Nuns & Nones, an alliance of spiritually diverse millennials, women religious, and key partners working to create a more just, equitable, and loving world. In this role, Katie helps build, support, and resource their growing network of collaborators—she is a veritable bridge-builder across traditions and generations.
She is committed to podcasts and radio as a tool for modeling and broadcasting meaningful conversation across difference and even creating a sense of connection and community among listeners. In 2018, Katie interned with the radio show and podcast On Being with Krista Tippett on their Civil Conversations Project. That same year she received the Mother Guerin Research Travel Grant from the Cushwa Center at the University of Notre Dame. The grant funds travel for her project entitled The Foundress, an oral history project that tells the stories of foundresses, or female founders, who established orders of women religious. The final product will be an audio series to be released as a podcast, that will share these stories of foundresses with a broader audience.
Additionally, she contributes to a variety of projects related to spiritual and social conversation, formation, and transformation. With the team behind the How We Gather reports, Katie supports the Formation Project, a spiritual formation container for the 21st century. With the Fetzer Institute, she is supporting a collaboration of retreat centers committed to both personal and social change.
During the summer of 2019, she lived with the Benedictine Sisters of Erie and worked with Monasteries of the Heart, their virtual monastery, as the 2019 Joan Chittister Intern. In that role she joined the staff in their work of making monastic wisdom available for contemporary seekers.
Katie holds a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, a Master of Interfaith Action from Claremont Lincoln University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and Political Science from Alma College.