LCWR

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.

Update (November 2010)

With the LCWR national board’s statement noting our “new, deep connection with one another and a sense of real communion as we live our way into new expressions of creative fidelity,”  I was drawn again to this call found in Vita Consecrata 37.

Update (October 2010)

There are books I keep at hand that I pick up from time to time, ever to find something new. So it was that I recently picked up Joan Chittister’s book The Breath of the Soul: Reflections on Prayer. I was particularly struck by her words in the section on realism. She writes:

The spiritually mature person does not rely on God for miracles. They rely on God for strength and courage, for insight and hope, for vision and endurance. They know that God is with them: they do not believe that God is an instrument for the comfort of human beings. (p.122)

Update (August/September 2010)

After more than several faulty starts preparing this Update, knowing it would be my last as part of the presidency of LCWR, I have come to this simple reflection. It has been quite a journey these past three years, a trip, a pilgrimage of walking on a path with no previous signposts to guide the way.

Update (July 2010)

We arrived at the shores of the ocean in Harvey Cedars, New Jersey where we held our most recent meeting of the LCWR executive committee. It was not an easy arrival; rather one that took us through a storm with fierce lightning. Traffic slowed. Drivers were more careful than usual. The evening was humid and warm with little movement of air. 

Update (June 2010)

So many people, events, meetings, and occasions press us for time and attention. Consequently, when we receive invitations to larger and international events, we tend to agonize over the time it will take, the cost, and the stress of travel. Is it worth it in terms of our ongoing formation as leaders of religious congregations

Update (May 2010)

Eastertide… Mary of Magdala, He is risen, He is not here… why do you look for the living among the dead? No tomb-sitters, please!

Message of the Risen Jesus, the challenges of faithfulness and sharing of truth.

Hope, Violence, New Life, Stress, Death, Peace, Hatred, Fear, Promise.Integrity, Truth. Discovery of what is of value. What is worth dying for and what is worth living for.

Update (March 2010)

Here is a story from the Franciscan tradition. In imitation of Christ, Francis never wished to abandon the dignity of the poor Christ at any time, not even on the feast of all feasts, Easter. He used to go begging on all the principal feasts, saying that, in the poor, the psalmist’s words are fulfilled: Humanity eats the bread of angels. [Psalm 78: 25]

Update (March 2010)

It is nearly Lent and the boards of both LCWR and CMSM are gathered in a retreat house in Tucson, Arizona to discuss issues of mutual importance. It is a desert immersion experience. One can’t help but be reminded that the desert was the place Jesus chose to spend significant time in preparation for his years of active ministry.

Update (March 2010)

It is nearly Lent and the boards of both LCWR and CMSM are gathered in a retreat house in Tucson, Arizona to discuss issues of mutual importance. It is a desert immersion experience. One can’t help but be reminded that the desert was the place Jesus chose to spend significant time in preparation for his years of active ministry.

Update (Feb. 2010)

On the verge of entering  a new liturgical season, Lent, and Ash Wednesday, its initiating day of focus for the weeks to come, we cannot help but hear the call to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. These challenges bring us back to God at our center, our willingness to let go of those things that bind us in un-freedoms and our call to a communal focus of the needs of others. It’s that continuing call to a deeper conversation of heart, mind, and action.

Update (Jan. 2010)

The officers and national office of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious have received many letters from organizations and individuals expressing support as both the apostolic visitation of US women religious and the doctrinal assessment of LCWR continue.

Update (December 2009)

This issue coincides with the liturgical season of Advent — a time of waiting, a season rich in story and symbols, a holding of the tensions between what has been and that which is yet to come as we continue to birth new life. This Advent is particularly poignant for those of us holding membership in the LCWR, but Mary’s story is one in which we can both rest and gain strength for the future.

Update (November 2009)

Last year at this time, November 2008, we were immersed in headlines that surrounded us on a daily, if not moment by moment basis. It was the time of the US national election for President and the fall conventions were surprising in their results as well as their cultural shifts. The election of Barack Obama was a turn of the tide in our history as not just age but racial lines were crossed in the search for hope and peace with a “yes, we can” attitude of previous eras.

Update (October 2009)

On August 15 we traveled from the New Orleans LCWR Assembly back to our communities with hearts uplifted by the gracious Spirit of God that consistently prompts us to creative service. We were inspired by the leadership efforts to heal our beleaguered brothers and sisters devastated by Katrina. We heard the stories of our Sisters leading the recovery activities of the city, serving the church with invincible patience at the Vatican, and recreating the stories of our founding Women of Spirit. In deep conversatio, we pondered the current Vatican inquiries into our lives.

Update (August/September 2009)

In my presentation to the 2008 LCWR national assembly, I spoke of how midwives deliver new life, pass on to others what they have learned, and then step back so that others can lead. The time has come for me to step aside as others step up to lead our conference. As I write my final column, various feelings bubble up, particularly gratitude for the privilege of serving the conference.  

Update (August/September 2009)

In my presentation to the 2008 LCWR national assembly, I spoke of how midwives deliver new life, pass on to others what they have learned, and then step back so that others can lead. The time has come for me to step aside as others step up to lead our conference. As I write my final column, various feelings bubble up, particularly gratitude for the privilege of serving the conference.  

Update (July 2009)

The work of leadership these past six months has had a unique and historical challenge with the announcement of the Apostolic Visitation of women’s congregations by The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLSAL) and the Doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF)

Update (June 2009)

The paradoxes of mission that Jesus presents in the Beatitudes as well as in the mystery of death and Resurrection could contextualize our perplexing situation in the church now. We might not fathom that the potential implications of an apostolic visitation and doctrinal assessment can also be meeting points of Cross, Resurrection, and mission.

Update (May 2009)

These are unprecedented times for us, leaders and women religious, who strive to respond to recent Vatican initiatives that affect women religious across the United States. Many feelings well up and swirl around our attempts to find ways to respond to what has come as a surprise. Regional gatherings and circles of quiet prayer ground and center us. Together we create a safe context for discerning how best to respond to the events that unfold even as I write this column.

Update (April 2009)

With a deep breath I begin this reflection. There have been so many agendas claiming attention these most recent days. Agendas within the Church and our world, within our congregations, within the lives of our sisters and those they serve… agendas within my own life as it is touched by all of these concerns.

Update (March 2009)

Through the liturgical year, we traverse the mystical reality of the Word Incarnate, the baptism of Jesus, and ordinary time. Slowly now – lento -- we move through the stories of the death of Jesus, a season for soul-reflection.

Update (February 2009)

Bold headlines, scrawled across the top of this morning’s newspaper, highlight a fragile economic climate around the globe. Many leaders of religious communities wonder how our assets can be stretched to care for members and to support ministry to those most affected by poverty. A new president promises to boost the economy by shoring up bridges and roads. If his strategy is effective, bridge-building may sustain many during this economic roller-coaster ride.      

Update (January 2009)

This month marks a major change for those of us who live here in the United States. We have the completion of the term of one President and the inauguration of another. For about two years we have been immersed in the prenomination, nomination, convention, and election process for this new national administration.

Update (December 2008)

The Sufi mystic and musician, Hazat Inayat Khan, wrote:

A person who, alone, has seen something beautiful, who has heard something harmonious, who has tasted something delicious, who has smelled something fragrant, may have enjoyed it, but not completely. The complete joy is in sharing one’s joy with others.

Update (November 2008)

While attending a meetingin Pennsylvania, I hadan opportunity to visitGettysburg, a site of a CivilWar that scarred our country and lefthundreds of thousands of soldiers dead,wounded, or missing. There on thebattlefield I grieved the loss of so manylives in a conflict that tore a union apart.Standing on the ground where AbrahamLincoln addressed a splintered nation,I glimpsed something of the impact ofa courageous president’s efforts to healdivisions, end the Civil War, free those enslaved, andredirect the attention of individual states toward thegood of the whole.

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