Written on: April 26, 2018
From April 9 through April 13 the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart gathered for their 22nd General Chapter, held at the Mother Boniface Spirituality Center. A General Chapter is held every five years to elect new leadership and to collaboratively set the direction of the Congregation for the next five years. This shared time together is shaped by prayer, attentive listening and contemplative dialogue. Sister Margaret O’Brien, OSU was the facilitator for the Chapter.
In her welcome, Sister Margaret asked, “What is God dreaming for you?” This theme ran through the days of Chapter. As sitting President, Sister Julia Lanigan convened the Chapter and took roll call of the delegates. There were 50 Sister-delegates present for this Chapter.
Chapter is a graced time in the history of a Congregation. It is a time to reaffirm one’s personal commitment to the Congregation, and to celebrate the communal response to the charism entrusted to each Congregation.
We heard about the State of the Congregation financially, physically and spiritually. Sister Julia and Mrs. Pat Cohen presented the Future Challenges Report. Sisters received information regarding the current state of the Congregation. This was especially important after the closing of the Yardley Motherhouse and the relocation of a majority of the Sisters. Decisions were made regarding items to focus on during the next term. The prior chapter directional statements were re-affirmed as worthy of deepening understanding and continued discussion.(See below)
Tuesday,was a Retreat-style day with space for individual and collective reflection, time for prayer, sharing and conversations. Tuesday would prepare the way for the discernment of Leadership. A Liturgy of the Holy Spirit and ritual of gratitude celebrated out-going leadership and those who remain open to being elected to Congregational Leadership. The days of chapter were filled with prayerful discernment and contemplative dialogue, along with the election of the five women to lead the Congregation until the next General Chapter in 2023! Read about the Sisters elected to Leadership here.
The Spirit of Wisdom was called upon unceasingly!
Chapter Days provided space for group conversations, and individual conversations, reflection, prayer and some fun too. Stories were shared of the “olden” days, praise for the present, and presence, with each other, and deep hope and abiding trust in Providence for the future of the Mission of St. Marguerite d’Youville, with which we have been entrusted.
At the 22nd General Chapter of the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart (2018), we re-affirmed a call to risk relational newness with God, each other, our Church and world. With trust in our Provident God and in the spirit of our foundress, St. Marguerite d’Youville, we re-commit ourselves to:
- embrace a contemplative stance
- cultivate relational integrity in all our interactions
- offer faithful witness as women in the Church
- foster cosmic consciousness
Some Chapter 2018 Facts:
You can view photos of the Chapter Days here