By: Sr. Patty Johnson

The Leadership Council functions as the Board of Directors for the US FederationThis is a time of major transition at the Leadership Council. Sr. Maryellen Kane (Brentwood), the U.S. Federation’s new executive director, attended her first meeting. Although plagued with a cold, she quickly warmed to the Council and they to her. Two new members — Sr. Mary McFadden (Philadelphia) and Barbara Roberts (Carondelet-St. Louis staff) — joined the Leadership Council. Both bring fundraising expertise which will be very helpful to the evolution of the U.S. Federation. The Leadership Council also appointed Sr. Mary Ann Martin (Carondelet-Los Angeles) to fill the seat on the Leadership Council vacated by Sr. Kathy Carr (St. Augustine).

As we transition to our new form of governance, the Leadership Council discussed the implications of decisions made at the 2019 Leadership Assembly on how the Leadership Assembly will implement their reserved powers. Their decisions added clarity to the roles of the council and assembly and will be helpful as we move into the future. The Leadership Assembly strongly suggested — and the Leadership Council agreed — that for the immediate future it would be helpful if the two governing structures had some overlapping meeting time. This is to both build relationships and enhance communication and will be added to the November meeting agendas for both groups.

The Leadership Council discussed a plan as to when the appointment of three expanded membership seats to the Leadership Council would occur. They determined that setting target enrollment numbers would be the best way to go. When the first 100 expanded members join the U.S. Federation as dues paying members, the first seat will be appointed. The second seat will be appointed when there are 250 members, and the third seat when there were 500 members. Meanwhile, the Roles and Responsibilities Committee will continue to develop processes to help us move from an appointment model to an election model. A video for recruitment of expanded membership will be prepared by the office staff.

At the Leadership Council, current Executive Director Sr. Patty Johnson described the transition plan for the new executive director, Sr. Maryellen Kane. They have had three face-to-face meetings to discuss the status of operations, as well as two videoconference meetings with the Finance Committee. The transition is moving very well, and a smooth transition is expected. Sr. Maryellen has located an office space in Queens, New York, on the grounds of The Mary Louis Academy, a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood. Materials and supplies from the St. Louis office are being prepared for transfer to Queens. Sr. Maryellen will assume her duties on January 1, 2020.

With Sr. Lee Hogan (Boston) appointed Treasurer, there became an opening on the Federation’s finance committee. The Leadership Council appointed Sr. Pat Warbritton (Congregation of St Joseph) to fill that role.

The Leadership Council thanked Sr. Miriam Ukeritis (Carondelet Congregational team) for her service as she rotated off the Council. This newly constituted Leadership Council will have its next meeting in late January in Brentwood, New York.

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