GNSH Leadership attends LCWR Conference
Written on: September 26, 2016
Attending a national assembly of 800 plus leaders of women religious (LCWR) is an honor and a privilege. It is quite an event featuring good speakers, lovely liturgy and prayer and making connections with women leaders from across the globe. There is a lot of pleasant noise, as sisters are greeting each other, meeting friends and colleagues, and getting to know new sisters at our assigned tables.
It is consoling to hear that so many of us are in the same ‘boat’ with declining membership, sale of beloved properties, caring for aging sisters, and the concern about ‘the leadership pool’ for the future. So many congregations are in a stage of completing their mission as congregations and yet there is such joy and peace in them as they continue on the journey. We are being invited to be creative, go to the periphery of what we have known and step out in faith and joy into this new era of religious life. There is so much more to give and to share in our Church and world. Charisms do not die; they just get reimagined and passed on to others
Many of you have read about the assembly and the reporting in Global Sisters Reports, NCR or through LCWR’s national office. But we wanted to share some reactions from those of us who were actually there.
- I always enjoy attending the LCWR Assembly. Seeing and speaking with Sisters from across the USA (Australia, Italy, South America and Canada, too!) is enjoyable. The speakers were challenging and our prayer experiences were exceptional.
- I couldn’t help but think how fortunate we are to have accomplished so much with our moving. When speaking to other Sisters I realized how much we have done as a community. So many people were interested in our move as many are just beginning that journey as congregations.
- I was deeply touched by Sr. Pat Farrell’s keynote address as she encouraged us as leaders to foster ‘contemplative spaciousness’ in ourselves and our congregations. She remarked that it requires discipline to create such space for ourselves and to be faithful to the practice. She feels that this is a much needed gift that we can share with the church and society and sees is as the greatest mission we have at this time in the history of religious life.
- It was good to hear Liz Sweeney again and to feel comfortable with the language she was using to present the material on contemplation and the “evolution of love”. I was pleased that we had had Liz speak to our congregation several years ago and that we have been working toward embracing a contemplative stance and relational integrity since our last chapter.
- It is confirming that we have made significant decisions and are positioned for our future. We still need to grow into that future but we can do it comfortably and in joy. So many affirmed what we had done and wanted to hear about our journey.
- The entire week was an immersion in contemplative experience. I was especially touched by the depth of sharing during the hours spent with my contemplative dialogue circle. What struck me particularly from the presentations was the insightful quote in the sidebar
- There was some time for fun and we met up with friends there, Robin Eggert, Stewart Skinner, our Eileen Dickerson, facilitators and canonists we have worked with over the years, Jeanne Poor, SGM, and Fr. Hank Lemoncelli, to name only a few!
It is with great gratitude that we are able to attend such assemblies as your Leadership. We thank you for the privilege.