This Palm Sunday as I listened to the African American Spiritual, “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?” being sung in Chinese at Holy Family Church in Taipei, Taiwan, I began reflecting on other Holy Week observances in which I had participated over the years.
New understandings of the cosmic story have clearly captured our attention. But what do these insights have to do with our everyday lives? The authors in this issue include women religious who are making the connections between the cosmic story and religious life, and particularly religious life leadership, as well as women religious from other cultures who are integrating the new insights into their lives and work in settings of great poverty and violence.
Never make an important decision in November or February!" So said the novice director, decades ago. Perhaps the cold grey days of a Michigan November, introducing winter, and the still grey days of February, delaying spring, prompted that warning to young novices.
National Catholic Sisters Week is launching the second week of March (March 8-14) as part of National Women’s History Month. This commemoration is intended to shine a national spotlight on the good works and good will of Catholic sisters. It recognizes past and present sisters, from the movers and shakers pressing the front lines of social change to the faithful praying in cloistered chapels.
Jodi Sandoval’s 14-year-old son, Noah McGuire, was accidentally killed last year by a friend who thought the gun was unloaded. The gun belonged to the shooter’s grand-father.
Matthew Dwyer, 5, was shot by his brother with a pistol his mother had left out.
Cassie Culpepper, 11, was riding in the back of a pickup with her 12-year-old brother. He started playing with a pistol his father had lent him to scare coyotes. It fired, and blood poured from Cassie’s mouth.
[Silver Spring, Maryland] The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) welcomes the release of the Republican immigration standards and leadership’s willingness to engage in immigration reform.
“Achieving just and compassionate immigration reform will require the wisdom and leadership of legislators on both sides of the aisle,” said Sister Janet Mock, CSJ, executive director of LCWR. “We applaud Speaker Boehner’s willingness to enter into serious negotiation around one of the most pressing moral issues of our time.”
Recently Sisters Carol Zinn, Sharon Holland, Janet Mock and I had a team building and planning session at the Jersey Shore. The final morning I took an invigorating walk along the beach, watching the sun streak across the waves for the first time since we arrived. I had been trying to coordinate breaks in our meeting with breaks from the drizzle and fog, and was finally successful!
LCWR annually offers a five-day retreat for women religious leaders that provides opportunities to reflect on the blessings and challenges of religious life leadership today. The days include input, quiet contemplative space, a variety of ritual experiences and some opportunity for individual and group spiritual direction for those who choose. The 2015 retreat will take place in a setting of great beauty in Florida at the Bethany Retreat Center.
Today the Leadership Conference of Women Religious sent a letter to all 435 members of the House of Representatives urging them to take up immigration reform— now! We are asking that the house pass legislation that honors the values upon which our nation was built; includes a reasonable roadmap to citizenship; prioritizes family unity; protects the rights of all; promotes the integration of new Americans; and addresses the poverty and violence that force migrants from their homes. See below for a copy of the letter.
Last month I did an internet search to see how much media interest there was in LCWR’s 2013 assembly in Florida. While a Catholic News Service article was reprinted in several diocesan papers, there was much less interest in the secular press than last year. However I noticed that in a group of images of LCWR leadership, some photos were repeated several times. When I clicked on one I was taken to an article on LCWR headlined...
Leadership Conference of Women Religious Assembly Explores Issues Facing the Global Community
[Orlando, FL] At the annual assembly of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) held in Orlando, FL, August 13-16, the more than 820 participants discussed some of the critical issues facing the global community and how US Catholic sisters may respond to them.
The debate about immigrants and immigration law is not ultimately about the immigrants, it is about us. It is about what kind of people we will be; will we be a welcoming, kind, accepting culture, people, and country or will we continue to leave out the poor, the needy; the ones that walk with God? Will we continue to harden our hearts and exclude anyone that we believe is not one of us, or will we live up to the best of our faith and national traditions and “welcome the stranger”? (West Cosgrove, Kino Border Initiatives)
Senate Immigration Bill Passes with Bipartisan Support
[Silver Spring, MD] The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) welcomes the passage of S. 744, Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. While S. 744 as it now stands is far from perfect, it retains the spirit of our core principles for comprehensive immigration reform that is compassionate and just.
During last year’s assembly, Barbara Marx Hubbard described a world in flux in the midst of comprehensive paradigm shifts poised for a cosmic break through. Putting her presidential address in that context, Pat Farrell, OSF suggested tools to help us navigate these tumultuous times with trust and a spirit of adventure: contemplation, prophecy, solidarity with the marginalized, community, non-violence, and joyful hope.