23rd General Chapter: New Leadership Elections

Written on: June 6, 2023

The Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart held their Chapter Meetings from May 21-26 at Cranaleith Spirituality Center in the Somerton section of Philadelphia. Forty delegates participated in the daily prayer, discussions and reflection on matters of importance to the future of the Congregation.

And what a providential coincidence that it was during the time between the Ascension and Pentecost that the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart gathered for their Chapter!

Our Grey Nun Constitutions say that the Chapter “is our highest legislative planning and goal-setting body,” organized to set direction for the time until the next Chapter and to elect new leadership. This time between the Ascension and Pentecost wasn’t chosen on purpose—the time frame was decided on so long ago that it wasn’t known when Ascension and Pentecost would fall—but it was a time of blessings for us as we listened together for the movement from present to future in the context of these significant events in the beginning of the Church and in our lives as Christians.

The meetings centered around two major items: voting to ratify a statement that will guide Grey Nun conversations and reflections over the next several years, and the election of new leadership. For the five days of Chapter meetings, forty sisters chosen by the community at large gathered to reflect and plan ahead, in the context of the reports of the President, Sr. Denise Roche, and the Chief Financial Officer and Co-Executive Director, Marianne Kitzmiller. There was silence, prayer, table conversation, and questions and answers from the whole group before agreement on the Spirit-driven direction that will shape reflective conversations and actions between now and the next Chapter.  While the discussions were lively, at the end of them the Chapter delegates affirmed the proposed direction for the next three years, focusing on the importance of community discussions about our religious life, collaboration with other Sisters and laity, and our call to continue to serve others however and wherever we can.

Election of new leadership followed. Four sisters were chosen. Sr. Denise Roche was re-elected as President, and Srs. Barbara Schiavoni and Eileen White were re-elected as Council members. The new Council member is Sr. Nancy Maria Kaczmarek.

(Left to right: Sr. Nancy Maria Kaczmarek, Sr. Denise Roche, Sr. Barbara Schiavoni, and Sr. Eileen White)

Prayer, written evaluations, and the official Chapter closing by Sr. Denise concluded this time of blessing and insight. We have confidence in God’s providence as we move forward for the next three years. View more photos here.

Submitted by Sr. Nancy Maria Kaczmarek

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