Jo Balsamo, Oblate and long-time friend of Transfiguration Monastery, wrote the following post:
Some may have noticed in our eulogy for Sr. Jeanne Marie that she was a member of the Association of Contemplative Sisters. You may have wondered what that is. Their current President, Marilyn Webb, writes:
The Association of Contemplative Sisters is a group of women, both lay women and women within a variety of religious orders; the Association exists to foster and support the contemplative journey of its members. ACS was formed in 1969 in order to provide ongoing mutual support in the process of renewal, education and adaptation following the Second Vatican Council. The original members were all from cloistered women’s religious orders. During the years following its inception numerous meetings, conferences, classes, etc. were held for educational and renewal purposes. During this time the membership broadened to persons in non-cloistered orders and then to lay women. Currently more than two-thirds of our members are lay women; we live our contemplative lives across the United States, Canada, and the Philippines.
Since our early days ACS gatherings were held both nationally and regionally on a biennial schedule. These gatherings provide ACS members with the opportunities to hear speakers such as Sr. Connie Fitzgerald, OCD, Beatrice Bruteau, Sr. Donald Corcoran, and more recently Ilia Delio and Cynthia Bourgeault and to share our understanding of their messages. As we gather we also have the opportunity to share our life journeys as well as liturgy, times of prayer, and of course, laughter and friendship. We also meet in small clusters in areas where there are enough women to meet. We also are currently working to establish prayer circles and reading groups using Zoom and email. We currently have a website which can be found at http://acsisters.org/. We also have a newsletter that is published quarterly.
I have been a member of ACS since 1993. I have found it to be exactly what I have needed to support my contemplative life and to encourage my spiritual growth. The friendships of these women provide a depth of relationship that I’ve not always found in other organizations. We’d love to have you join us if you are interested. Please email Marilyn at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.