A millennial and a Catholic sister sit together, smiling.

“Since its inception, Nuns & Nones [which brings together religiously unaffiliated young adults and Catholic sisters] has garnered intense interest and widespread media coverage. The friendships between the millennials, most in their late 20s and early 30s, and the nuns, many in their 70s and 80s, have aroused the curiosity of many religion-watchers to see just what may emerge from the unlikely pairing,” writes Religion News Service reporter Yonat Shimron in “Nuns & Nones brings together religiously unaffiliated young adults and Catholic sisters.”

What has emerged from the first Nuns & Nones pilot residency has been rich and deep sharing of how to live in a spiritually grounded community and how to balance social action and contemplation. In a recent article about this pilot project, Shimron not only took us into this six-month experience, she included a series of questions we found intriguing and useful for all of us to consider as we seek to expand and deepen our sense of community, spirituality, and democracy. We share Shimron’s questions—with some revisions—to contemplate and discuss as part of this practice.

  • Nuns and Nones are an unlikely pairing. With what unlikely partners do you or could you find common ground?
  • The millennials and the sisters share a commitment to social justice, meaningful work, and collaboration. Is there a group of people—perhaps across generations—that shares your social aims? Who might they be? What might you learn from their experience, and they from yours?
  • What spiritual disciplines or values ground your community (this can be a neighborhood, a workplace, your city, a group of friends)? How and where do you see these disciplines at work?
  • Where are the friction points as you develop or nurture community, act on your values, and/or engage in social activism? How might they become agents of "smoothing" and "polishing"?
  • Consider how you structure your life or that of your community around values (or how you might). What are you doing now? What might you do differently?

For more information on Nuns & Nones, visit nunsandnones.org/.