Leadership Conference of Women Religious

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Update (Newsletter)

LCWR publishes a monthly newsletter for its members, entitled Update. Copies of the newsletter are available below.

August/September 2021

Culture of Encounter: Opening to the Emerging Future

by Jane Herb, IHM -- LCWR President-Elect

July 2021

Reflections on a Three-Year Journey

by Jayne Helmlinger, CSJ - LCWR Past President

This will be my last column for Update as my tenure in the office of the presidency comes to completion at the August 2021 assembly. As I recall the last three years in service to you, I do so with deep gratitude and joy.

In reflecting upon the themes of our assemblies these past three years, I am reminded of our call to the horizons of religious life as we take each step into mystery unfolding:

June 2021


By Elise D. García, OP — LCWR President 

As spring unfolds into summer, the theme of emergence surrounds us – with all its struggle and hope, at once tentative and bold. 

May 2021

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

by Carol Zinn, SSJ - LCWR Executive Director

April 2021

Through the Portal Together: A Kairos Moment

by Jane Herb, IHM -- LCWR President-Elect

As I sit down to write this reflection, it is almost one year ago that the COVID pandemic was upon us and we were staying safe at home. And then, in May, the murder of George Floyd brought us face-to-face with the pandemic of racism.

March 2021

Balancing Chaos with Life-Giving Blessings

by Jayne Helmlinger, CSJ -- LCWR Past President

The coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on our lives – in body, mind, and soul. New strains continue to pop up around the world and new vaccines or boosters are being created to counter them.

February 2021

'There is Always Light'

by Elise D. García, OP — LCWR President

As our nation transitions to a new administration, with its breath of fresh air, and the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, I am hanging on to Jeremiah’s promise of a future full of hope.

January 2021

A Year to Remember -- A Year to Anticipate

by Carol Zinn, SSJ -- LCWR Executive Director

December 2020

Be the Light for Our World

November 2020

Pondering the World Today

by Jayne Helmlinger, CSJ – Past President

October 2020

Embarking on our Spirit Journey

by Elise D. García, OP - LCWR President

As summer ends and schools reopen, LCWR enters a new year following our annual culminating gathering at the August assembly. Like so many other things in this age of pandemic, the 2020 assembly was like none other in our 64-year history. More than 1000 gathered in virtual space, experiencing both the bane (technology glitches) and the gift (safe togetherness) of that medium.

August/September 2020

A Spirit Call within a Call

A Message from LCWR's Officers

On July 10, 2020, the national board of LCWR unanimously affirmed a call to place the conference on a five-year journey to address systemic racism and white privilege. The call emerged from an open and honest conversation held among leaders of LCWR and the National Black Sisters’ Conference.

July 2020

Let Us Be Living Sankofas
by Sharlet Wagner, CSC -- LCWR Past-President

While I was living in Ghana I discovered the rich world of symbol in that country’s history and culture. One of the Ghanaian symbols that spoke to me deeply was the Sankofa, a word meaning literally, “Go back and get it.” The Sankofa (pronounced SAN-koh-fah) symbol is a bird with an egg held gently in its beak. The bird’s feet and body are facing forward, while its head is turned, looking backward.

June 2020

What is Arising from this Holy Disquietude?

by Jayne Helmlinger, CSJ - LCWR President

Just after Easter, as I sat looking out my bedroom window, I could see the signs of spring vividly blooming in the bougainvillea, gazanias, hibiscus, and many other flowers whose names I don’t know! This beauty was a bit disquieting to me as I sat with the growing river of feelings that continually swirl within.

May 2020

The Lord is Risen, Indeed

by Carol Zinn, SSJ -- LCWR Executive Director

April 2020

A Call to Spiritual Bonding

by Elise D. García, OP -- LCWR President-Elect

 As I write this column, the disruptive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is rocking our nation and the world.

March 2020

'An Attitude of Being'

by Sharlet Wagner, CSC -- LCWR Past President

February 2020

Challenges and Gifts of Intercultural Living

by Jayne Helmlinger, CSJ -- LCWR President

The topic most capturing my attention these days is intercultural living. Our congregation has long had women from other-than-the- dominant culture entering, specifically, Chinese, Filipina, and Latina. These women were the minority within their “bands” and assimilated into the congregational culture over the years. 

January 2020

Emmanuel, God-With-Us, Here and Now, Today and Tomorrow

by Carol Zinn, SSJ - LCWR Executive Director

As I’ve journeyed through these Advent days of holy waiting and watching, preparing for the feast of the Incarnation with eyes focused on a new calendar year filled with Epiphanies, the experience of the 2019 LCWR Assembly remains with me. The speakers and processes invited us to:

December 2019

 In Hopeful Expectation


 by Elise Garcia, OP -- LCWR President-Elect

As we enter this season of Advent in hopeful expectation of the new life that Mary will soon birth, the nations of the world gather in Madrid for their 25th year of climate talks, with the window for meaningful action fast closing.

November 2019

Reflections Under the Redwoods

by Sharlet Wagner, CSC -- LCWR Past President

I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree. *

October 2019

Exploring the LCWR Assembly Pearls

by Jayne Helmlinger, CSJ -- LCWR President

As I sit down to write this column, it has been one month since our wonderful assembly in Scottsdale. Since that time, I’ve been in numerous energizing and stimulating dialogues about all that transpired during those short, yet impactful days together.

August/September 2019

A Reflection on This Year with LCWR

by Jayne Helmlinger, CSJ -- LCWR President-Elect

As I reflect on this past year as president-elect for LCWR, I’m filled with gratitude. Clearly, as religious life leaders, we live in a time that provides numerous opportunities for deep transformation of ourselves and our institutes. As I reflect on this year, some key words surface: listening, engaging, energizing, expansive, communion, letting go, and leaning in.

July 2019

Leading on Empty, Finding the Grace

by Teresa Maya, CCVI -- LCWR Past President

June 2019

Building Bridges and Breaking Down Stereotypes

by Sharlet Wagner, CSC -- LCWR President

Canon law is not a topic that typically causes the eyes of women religious to light up. It is generally seen as dry and dogmatic, with a focus more on rules than on spirit and heart. I recently told some of our sisters that I find a great deal of wisdom and inspiration in the Code of Canon Law. They looked at me in a way that suggests they were mentally making plans to have me assessed for early-onset dementia!


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