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ethics_cases

Case Studies

Ethics

Annie

  • Annie is a thirty year old inquirer. She has just finished her masters in mental health counseling and has started working at a clinic. She describes with enthusiasm her interest in religious life which has been growing in the last few years. A life-long Catholic, she feels drawn to a life of service and of prayer lived in community. She came across your community through an internet search, and is just beginning to seriously look at communities. She exchanged a few emails, then asked to speak with you on the phone.
  • After a brief introduction, Annie says she has some issues that may prevent her entrance. She would like to know if you accept people who have educational debt, and/or with mental health diagnoses.
  • You have no specific policies.
  • What do you do?
  • What do you tell the discerner?
  • Who do you speak with in the congregation?
  • What record do you keep of the matter?

James

  • James has been inquiring with your congregation for a little over a year and has asked to begin the formal application process. James is 35 years old and is finishing up a masters in theology. After his bachelors, he worked for several years in retail, before starting to study theology part-time.
  • As he begins the discussion, he states clearly that he does not feel called to priesthood, and would like to be a brother in your community. He is concerned about how time away from work might impact his ability to find ministry in the community, or employment if he should leave the community.
  • You have no specific policies.
  • What do you do?
  • What do you tell the discerner?
  • Who do you speak with in the congregation?
  • What record do you keep of the matter?

Jesse

  • Jesse is a paramedic and is taking classes to work toward a pre-med degree. Jesse has always been very active in the parish, in the choir and youth group. At 25, Jesse is now feeling the call to religious life and begins initial inquiry with your congregation. Jesse manifests a strong spirituality and generous service ethic. In the youth group, Jesse takes leadership roles and works well with others.
  • In further conversation, you find that Jesse arrived in the US with family as a small child, and enrolled in the DACA program.
  • You have no specific policies.
  • What do you do?
  • What do you tell the discerner?
  • Who do you speak with in the congregation?
  • What record do you keep of the matter?

Completion

Province of Holy Victory

  • This is a province of a larger congregation
  • Language and cultural issues prevent leadership coming from other areas of the congregation.
  • Spring 2016. The Province, with the approval of congregational leadership, began a process of identifying possible future governance models.
  • Fall 2016 – the province proposed and the congregation approved this model:
  • Canonical oversight would be entrusted directly to the Congregational Leadership – with specific responsibilities to be determined by each team.
  • Administrative oversight would be entrusted to an Executive director, directly responsible to congregational leadership.
  • Spring 2017 - The province team found, hired and transitioned to an Executive Director for the province. This position was initially directly under Province leadership
  • Fall 2017 – The Province Chapter petitioned the Congregation to accept canonical governance of the province, assisted by the Executive Director.
  • This was accepted by the Congregation and the group is working out the details of this arrangement.

Any questions?

  • How can this situation help inform us?
  • How is it similar?
  • How is it different?

Sisters of Fairview Heights

  • SFH is a diocesan community dedicated to education that has a particular tie to an academy that is doing well and has an excellent reputation in the community.
  • Since 2005, they have had a Future Planning Committee composed of community leadership and members along with lay persons.
  • The committee has worked to:
    • Transition Sponsorship
    • Develop a plan for the Sisters’ care
  • The community continues to elect its leadership, but current team is not competent. There are no other sisters willing and able to assist in leadership responsibilities.
  • On election of the current team four years ago, the bishop appointed a pastoral visit team to assist the sisters in future planning. No significant progress was made.
  • The bishop has just appointed an administrator for the community to transition sponsorship and settle the sisters.

Any questions?

  • How can this situation help inform us?
  • How is it similar?
  • How is it different?

Sisters of Serenity Island

  • The community has been declining in numbers and increasing in median age.
  • At the last chapter, they decided to move toward completion
  • They also chose to enter into a closer relationship with a local “covenant community.”
  • Leadership, with community support moved toward selecting a covenant community and commissary, established support systems so commissary involvement is limited to oversight
    • Finance
    • Eldercare
    • Pastoral care
  • Commissary will manage future changes as needs arise

Any questions?

  • How can this situation help inform us?
  • How is it similar?
  • How is it different?
ethics_cases.txt · Last modified: 2018/07/05 19:50 by amycsj