Sister Amy Hereford Wins Catholic Press Award

Religious Life at the Crossroads Cover

Sister Amy Hereford


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Sister Amy Hereford’s book, Religious Life at the Crossroads: A School for Mystics and Prophets (Orbis Books, 2013) has been awarded the prestigious 2014 Catholic Press Award, First Place in the Gender Issues category.

Sister Amy, a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet from the St. Louis Province, is an attorney, canon lawyer and member of a minority cohort of post-Vatican II women religious. Her personal and professional experiences in various positions and ministries in education, administration and communication give her a unique perspective on examining women religious and religious life in the context of church, culture and society.

The continuing future of religious life may seem to be a modern concern, but is actually an age-old question that speaks more to possibilities than endings. Hereford says, “When I'm asked does religious life still have a place in today’s community of faith? I respond with a resounding, “Yes!” In her book, Sister Amy explores the evolution of religious life that cycles through reinvention about every 500 years.

The Catholic Press Association award citation says of Sister Amy and Religious Life at the Crossroads:

One could come up with a long list of negatives about religious life in the 21st century, but Sr. Amy has taken the higher road and convincingly portrays the possibilities inherent in communities founded and empowered by the Spirit. Her views of religious life in an emerging church are based on the no-longer viable structures of pre-Vatican II Church. Her candor in exposing the masculine influence that has led to the disintegration and disruption of women’s religious communities is relevant for the restructuring of postmodern religious life. Her future-oriented chapter on ‘New Forms of Religious Life’ should be required reading for everyone in consecrated life or contemplating it and very every bishop—and that includes Pope Francis.

Sister Amy works as a consultant for small to mid-sized religious communities and non-profits all over the United States, assisting them to move to the next level of strategic development and maximize their resources for the sake of mission. She is a member of the Canon Law Society of America, where she serves on the Consecrated Life Committee. Learn more about her work at www.ahereford.org.

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