Our First Pilot Residency!

The first Nuns & Nones residency took place from November 2018-May 2019. Five younger activists, educators, and organizers moved into Mercy Center in Burlingame, California, to live alongside the Sisters of Mercy for six months of shared learning and relationship-building. Stories from this experiment—and a harvest of learnings to inform future residencies—will be posted here soon.

In the meantime, you can find written reflections from resident sisters and millennials in this edition of Viva Mercy. You can also learn more about this groundbreaking effort on the Mercy Center website, in this National Catholic Reporter article, and on our blog.

Here are some images and words from our residents.

Residents Alan Webb, Sarah Bradley, Milicent Johnson, Adam Horowitz, and David Bronstein.

Residents Alan Webb, Sarah Bradley, Milicent Johnson, Adam Horowitz, and David Bronstein.

Sometimes upon awakening I tingle with excitement ... What is happening? What is this fresh vision slowly evolving? What are the risks involved? I sense that we are spiraling within the momentum of a paradigm shift. If religious life is a graced and enduring cultural charism, what are the revitalizing expressions pointing to creative forms of prophetic community? How do these horizons of possibility respond to ever new needs of our changing and evolving world? As my dad might say, “No small potatoes.”
— Sr. Judy Carle, RSM
Sisters, residents, and friends prepare latkes for Hannukah.

Sisters, residents, and friends prepare latkes for Hannukah.

I’m finding myself co-hosting conversations about the vow of chastity, on gender and sexuality, charism, etc.—with sisters and my peers. Through these voyages, and to my own astonishment, my imagination is hooked on the vows. (“It’s all about the vows!” I keep exclaiming to friends.) The mutual learning and growth continues to inspire and surprise, and the potential in these dialogues feels vast. For me, they are a source of deep healing.
— Sarah Bradley, resident

Search for a Partner Community

[NOTE: We will be issuing additional invitations for partner communities in 2019. For now, we are leaving up this text from the call that led to our first Pilot Residency with the Sisters of Mercy. If you are interested in learning about future opportunities, be sure to sign up on our email list at the bottom of the page. We’d also be happy to hear from you anytime! Drop a line: hello@nunsandnones.org.]


We are searching for one or more partner communities with which to build deeper relationships and explore creative, intergenerational approaches to forwarding and stewarding mission, charism, and sacred space. 

To start, we are looking for a value-aligned community of women religious, asking questions about the future, that would be excited about inviting in 4-8 millennials for a 3-9 month learning residency—a period of listening, sharing, and relationship-building.

During this time, we imagine:

  • Creating a local hub for learning, contemplation, and action together, co-inhabiting living space or simply concentrating members of our team together nearby.

  • Creating spacious time for listening, discerning, and learning alongside one another.

  • Inviting other like-hearted allies with relevant models or skills to share for visits or small gatherings.

In the longer-term, we have all kinds of big dreams!

Click the button below to learn more about us, the invitation, and explore whether this might be a fit for your community!

A significant insight emerged in our conversation: The centers of community in society are disintegrating. One of the critical common calls of this moment, the unmet need, is community itself. Just as foundresses responded to unmet needs in their time, so might we be called, together, to form and support new communities of belonging, working to weave our social fabric and combat the crisis of isolation and “othering.”

How might THE critical need for inclusion, community, communion shape our life, our response as religious women? How might we support millennials in their efforts to respond to this critical need today through their own intentional communities, their own outreach? How might we support each other, be engaged with each other in new ways?

A question to ponder for us: What resources of wisdom, experience, space, spirituality, charism do we have to share with millennials who are eager to learn from us and create new ways of living values and ministries that we cherish. How might we continue to explore these questions? Could this be part of our Chapter work related to lay partners?
— Sister Gloria Marie Jones, OP, Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose