As the Global Coordinating Group often known as the GCG met for its 10th time, we reaffirmed our mission that was set 10 years ago at the first meeting.

In the spirit of our Founder and Co-Foundresses,
We leaders of the four Federations: Italian, United States, Canadian and French;
Lyon, Annecy, Chambery, and Argentina,
In response to the promptings of the Holy Spirit
Wholeheartedly agree to accompany
The unfolding and emerging global relationships
As we coordinate new and diverse expressions of our CSSJ mission and charism.

With great delight, we reviewed the major programs that have flourished over the last decades. The International Center has made a huge difference with its international programs which have built strong connections among our sisters and lay partners throughout the world. Scholarships given by the U.S. Federation and Canada along with a foundation have enabled a high percentage of programs at the International Center to have broad participation from India, Latin America, Africa, Europe, and the United States. We have made tremendous success with our 6th year of Strategic Planning and have decided to expand the strategic plan to 2025.

At the United Nations, we are entering a new transition to a structure that will place more emphasis on bringing sisters from around the globe to participate in U.N. Commission meetings. This year we will have a delegation from Latin America which will attend the Social Development Commission along with sisters from North America. We hope to have a French-speaking delegation join us for the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in the summer of 2019. This may include sisters from Haiti and French-speaking Africa, perhaps Madagascar. We continue our explore expanding our presence at the Human Rights Commission in Geneva. This year a sister from Algeria and Italy have attended the Commission several times to represent us.

The International Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Group (I-JPIC) met monthly this year through video conference to prepare to engage the grassroots to send in relevant material for a Statement to be submitted to the U.N. Commission on Social Development (CSocD) 2019 by the Global Sisters of St. Joseph on Social Protection. Such statements enhance our presence at the U.N. by (1) allowing us to contribute to the wider Civil Society dialogue in preparation for a Civil Society position on the CSocD theme (2) enabling our U.N. representatives and delegates at CSocD to present facts, dialogue, and advocate for change with Ministers from those countries in which we are located, and (3) contributing facts and stories to our Quadrennial Report which is essential to maintaining our status at the U.N.

In addition, the process of creating a statement will allow the global body of Sisters of St. Joseph to (1) deepen the collective understanding, among the Sisters of St. Joseph, of the importance of Social Protection (2) strengthen advocacy efforts as we share the final statement in each of our home countries to advocate for change (3) allow us to contribute to a global movement for change rooted in Social Protection (4) continue our efforts to strengthen a sense of the global body of Sisters of St. Joseph (5) build stronger lines of communication and networking between the U.N.-NGO and the grassroots.

We learned with sadness of the closing of our presence in Algeria after a more than 150-year presence. On the other hand, we learned of a new inter-congregational endeavor that is very successful in the Amazon. The GCG made a commitment to share these types of developments between meetings.

Annecy, Lyon, and Chambéry are offering a variation of our 'Leaders as Leaven' Program for their sisters in India. It has been adapted to address their culture but there are many similarities, including that Barbara Bozak, the leader of our program is also directing this program.

Lyon and Annecy have set up international communities in France to really push the frontiers about what this will mean for religious life in the future.

The U.S. reported on the expansion of its' Federation membership. The emerging role of the laity in the mission and spirituality seemed to be part of each Federation or congregation's report. This led to the formation of a subcommittee of the GCG which will attend to this emerging role of laity and see how the GCG might imagine how we can better accompany this growing movement.

The Network of the Sisters of St Joseph in Latin America (Red) has become a more vibrant, multi-dimensional network. We will also continue to discuss the best way to hear their voice at our meetings. Now that the St. Vallier (Quebec and Haiti) congregation has separated from the French Federation we will also explore what our relationship with them should be.

We left our anniversary meeting filled with the wonder of all that has happened, sometimes slower than we may have hoped but a steady progress has been made. There is no doubt that we were changed by our time together. As Catherine Barange of Lyon shared, "when we are changed, then we can help others in our congregations experience the possibility of change."

Global Coordinating Groups