At this historic LCWR meeting, many Sisters of St. Joseph are playing important roles.

Janet Mock, CSJ Baden is the new executive director of LCWR.  Taking over just 18 days before the doctrinal assessment was issued, she has risen to the challenge.  Her years of practicing the virtues of a Sister of St. Joseph are evident in her courageous generosity, humility, and self-emptying love.   She is realistic and filled with zeal that is moderated by her discernment of where the spirit is leading.  We are fortunate to have one so deeply steeped in our traditions as the LCWR Executive Director at this time.

Prior to the meeting, LCWR issues its Occasional Papers.  Serving on the Occasional Papers Advisory Board is Nancy Conway, CSJ Congregation of St. Joseph.  Also from the Congregation is Mary Southard who contributed the cover art. 

Carol Zinn, SSJ Philadelphia provided an article, “What Does Conscious Evolution Have to Do with Religious Life? Everything!”  In it she challenges us to “to engage our contemporary times in a way that allows us to be actively aware and participative in the evolution within and around us.”

Pat Bergen, CSJ Congregation of St. Joseph contributed “Visual, Musical, and Poetic Art as Transformative Agents.”  Pat tells us that, “the true artist is sensitive to the mysteries and sufferings of the universe, which continually are revealing God’s presence.  Whether we are aware of not, images--both violent and healing—are always feeding us at a level deeper than the conscious mind.”

Lynn Levo, CSJ Carondelet Albany wrote “Managing Change Successfully.”   Lynn begins her article by telling us that “Leaders today will inevitably be involved in managing change-big and small.  …--changes that challenge members’ hearts, minds, values, and beliefs that cannot be resolved using the community’s current repertoire of approaches and skills.”  She continues to offer a framework and practical suggestions for how to prepare for and manage change successfully.

Marcia Allen, CSJ Concordia and Jan Cebula, OSF,Clinton, IA  organized the Innovative Best Practices Forum which occurs on August 7, immediately before the LCWR begins.  Marcia will be presenting “An Alternative Form of Membership” where she will discuss a way of incorporating a “noncanonical” membership into a canonical membership of pontifical right. 

Mary Louis Mitchell, SSJ and Eileen Daly, SSJ Rochester  will present “Communal Discernment” sharing their experience of using communal discernment to decide if they would elect to use a PACE model to provide health care to their senior sisters.

Lastly, on Friday morning, August 10, Sr. Patty Clune CSJ Carondelet St. Louis agreed to host a panel to discuss human trafficking.  She engaged Anna Sandidge and Patty Johnson CSJ Federation Executive Director to organize the panel discussion.  They were able to engage Sr. Kathleen Coll, SSJ Philadephia who has served on the ICCR human trafficking committee for many years.  She will address ICCR’s efforts with the tourism industry and the efforts at Dawn’s Place to provide services to commercially sexually exploited domestic and international women.  Kim Ritter from Nix Conference and Meeting Management will speak about her experience with the US Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph and the Millennium Hotel in signing the ECPAT Code of Conduct. Then Katie Rhodes from Healing Action Network will speak about her personal escape from being sexually trafficked and the work that she is doing to assure that the needs of women who escape sexual exploitation have their needs met. 

As you can see, the Sisters of St. Joseph are very active and supportive of LCWR.  At this critical time in its history, we join in prayer in support of the ongoing discernment that the members will engage in at this year’s meeting in St. Louis.