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.
In the midwest spring has been slow in coming this year, so most of us are more than ready for it. Nature’s dramatic flowering and greening always seem to be suddenly upon us, abrupt and surprising, even as we suffer through the drabness of March anticipating it. Spring so aptly coincides with the Easter season in the northern hemisphere, surrounding us with symbols of new life! We have much to celebrate. Hopeful signs in Rome seemed to appear as abruptly and surprisingly as the spring, lifting spirits in as global a way as the change of season. (Download issue to read in its entirety)
LCWR presents a new book, Navigating the Shifts, a resource for reflecting on how we may best live in a world in flux. In her presidential address to the LCWR 2012 assembly, Sister Pat Farrell, OSF noted that we need not be fearful of "the cataclysmic movements of change swirling around us" and suggested how we might navigate these tumultuous times with trust and a spirit of adventure.
On April 15, 2013 Sister Florence Deacon, OSF, LCWR president; Sister Carol Zinn, SSJ, LCWR president-elect; and Sister Janet Mock, CSJ, LCWR executive director; met with Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF); Archbishop Luis Ladaria, secretary of CDF; and other members of the CDF dicastery. Archbishop J. Peter Sartain was also present.
The LCWR officers reviewed the activities of this past year since receiving the report of CDF’s doctrinal assessment of LCWR in April 2012.
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious is pleased to announce that Pat Farrell, OSF will be the recipient of the 2013 LCWR Outstanding Leadership Award. This prestigious award honors a person whom the LCWR members wish to recognize and thank for modeling extraordinary leadership.
What roller coaster ride we have been on the past few weeks as we learned of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and reflected on what this might mean for the church at large and LCWR in particular. During this 50th anniversary year of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council, what is the Spirit asking of us today? What does the church need at this point in history? Benedict’s action invited us to take stock of where we are as the people of God, what of Vatican II is still undone, and how to use this new beginning to apply the gospel message faithfully in our day. Many media outlets invited us to give a woman’s perspective or that of Catholic sisters on these questions. We accepted some of the invitations to widen the discussion, and included the insights of other people in our reflections.
The March 17 edition of CBS 60 Minutes included a segment entitled “American Nuns struggle with Vatican for change.” LCWR had been working with the producers of the segment, Andrew Metz and Tanya Simon, since May 2012 on this segment which includes b-roll from the 2012 LCWR assembly and interviews with LCWR past-president Pat Farrell and with Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, the delegate of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith appointed to oversee LCWR.
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) offers its congratulations and heartfelt prayer to Pope Francis as he assumes the papacy at this critical time for the Catholic Church.
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio demonstrated great dedication to the mission of the Church during his leadership in Argentina. As he serves in the papacy, we trust that his many gifts will continue to be spent on behalf of the universal church, and most especially for people who live in poverty in all parts of the world.
[Silver Spring, MD] The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) thanks Pope Benedict XVI for his many years of tireless service to the Catholic Church and for the contributions he has made as a theologian, as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and as pope. We respect his integrity in making what must have been a difficult decision to resign and promise him our prayer as he prepares to leave the papacy. May he be richly blessed for his profound dedication to the service of the Gospel.
[Silver Spring, MD] The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) welcomes the release of the bipartisan proposal by Senators Schumer (D-NY), McCain (R-AZ), Durbin (D-IL), Graham (R-SC), Menendez (D-NJ), Rubio (R-FL),Bennet (D-CO) and Flake (R-AZ) and President Obama’s pledge to work with Congress to fix our nation’s broken immigration system.
As LCWR continues to respond to the process of the doctrinal assessment, I have frequently callled to mind Einstein’s assertion that it is impossible to solve any problem with the same mindset that created it. That thought carries a challenge. First of all, our own mindsets are usually quite invisible to us. How do we personally and collectively touch into and live from a new consciousness capable of transcending our blind spots?
'Blessed are the Peacemakers' Message of Pope Benedict XVI for the World Day of Peace
For over 45 years the pope has issued a message calling for world peace at the beginning of each New Year, traditionally released on December 8th. However, this year Pope Benedict’s message was delayed until December 14th, the day America was consumed with grief over the murder of 20 innocent first graders and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut. Seen through the eyes of this tragedy, Benedict’s open paragraph takes on poignant meaning:
The tragedy of the past days has called the nation into a period of mourning. We are all deeply affected by the killings in Newtown, Connecticut. Perhaps it was the thought of first graders suffering such brutality, innocent children enduring trauma just before Christmas. Perhaps it was the tragedy of yet another young person losing complete control while suffering from mental illness. Perhaps it is the poignant reminder that every day in urban areas, children are gunned down, often by other children. There is much to mourn, but mourning is not enough. The killing must stop.