By: Sr. Patty Johnson

Jan 2019 Leadership Council

During the Leadership Council’s, which operates similarly to a board of directors for the Federation, January Meeting, the council responded to feedback it had received from various committees and the 2018 Leadership Assembly, an annual gathering of elected leaders from our 16 congregations and 4 provinces. Out of those discussions, significant decisions were made.

Based on a 2018 study from Federation communicators, it was decided that the U.S. Federation will revamp their current website to become more user-friendly and more engaging for our members. The Federation will also work with communicators to develop a Content Strategy Plan, as well as a social media committee that will help plan and ensure the frequent updates of our social media pages.

The Leadership Council also discussed the details of Event 2021. Event 2021 will open on the evening of Friday, July 9 and end with a banquet on Sunday, July 11. It will be held in St. Louis at the Hyatt, in the shadow of the Arch. There will be pre-conferences on various topics on July 9 and several networks of members are already thinking of having a gathering on that day for their group. We anticipate that this Event will appeal to sisters and our new extended membership.

The Leadership Council discussed the report they received from Sr. Miriam Ukeritis (Carondelet-Congregation Center) based on her two trips to the Federation novitiate. The format for the 10-month novitiate does seem to be allowing more time for reflection and growth. There was a great appreciation for the cross-generational presentations on the vows where a team of a more seasoned and newer member presented each vow. This is evident to anyone viewing the novices’ video of their first semester.

After a long day at work some enjoy a game of hand and foot

The Leadership Council reviewed the feedback from Leaders, Justice Coordinators, and Communicators on the new Corporate Voice Statement procedure that has allowed the U.S. Federation to take more frequent corporate stands in collaboration with LCWR. Each month a communications and justice person from a different congregation assumes responsibility for producing the content for statements that come from LCWR that month. The U.S. Federation Office then formats the statement and distributes it with action items usually within 48 hours of LCWR issuing the statement. The leaders expressed that statements were timely, collaborative, and action-oriented. The Leadership Council greatly appreciates the research that LCWR does in producing their statements, which are at the core of the U.S. Federation statements. There was positive feedback about the social media posts, which are easy to share and attractive.

The Leadership Council continued to welcome its newest members, Sr. Charlene Diorka (Philadelphia) and Sr. Anne Letourneau (Congregation of St. Joseph), who represent the youngest 7 percent of sisters in the Federation. At the Council’s March meeting they will appoint three new members to the Leadership Council who will represent committees and groups of Federation members.

[Sr. Patty Johnson is executive director of the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph]