Grassroots & Collaboration
Working Together in the mission of Charity
The Daughters and Sisters of Charity of North America formed the first Federation in 1947 to promote the canonization of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. As the relationships among the congregations developed, inter-congregational groups began to meet and collaborate on topics of formation, spirituality, higher education, and justice issues.
Since the canonization in 1975, the congregations of the Federation have continued to collaborate around NGO status and staff at the United Nations, vocation promotion, formation at all levels, archives, communications, shared ministries, Seton writings, grassroots gatherings, Vincentian and Setonian spirituality, Associates and Affiliates, higher education, House of Charity, the Federation office, advocacy and social justice issues.
The Company of Charity Formation Personnel (CCFP) includes the Directors of Vocations, Formation, Associates and Volunteer programs of all the Federation congregations as well as the congregational leaders who are responsible for those areas. The purpose of the group is to foster collaboration and networking across the Federation in the areas of new membership, formation at all levels, and emerging models for living the charism. They host service opportunities to experience and reflect on the charism. They use technology to simplify and connect, especially through on-line discernment retreats and sharing of digital formation materials. CCFP dreamed the House of Charity New Orleans into existence and facilitates the growth of the Future of Charity group.
The Federation Archivists work individually and collectively to preserve the history and legacies of the Sisters and Daughters of Charity and of the Sisters of Charity Federation. They meet annually and communicate consistently to provide scholars with resources and to create searchable media collections. They collaborate with Seton Heritage Ministries to create Federation exhibits for the museum. The Federation Archivists research and plan how to articulate and preserve the story and current reality of the Federation.
The Federation Connections Committee of Metro New York gathers members of the Sisters of Charity of New York, Sisters of Charity-Halifax, Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth and the Daughters of Charity to plan and execute regional grassroots events for Sisters and Associates/Affiliates in the New Jersey and New York area. Recent topics have included “The Year of Mercy meets the Charity Charism” and “Wake Up the World with the Gift of Charity."
The Federation Communicators seek to advance the mission of the Sisters and Daughters of Charity through the sharing of sister stories and congregational news in their respective congregations. The group collaborates to tell the Federation stories through digital file sharing and meets annually to share ideas and discuss best practices for organizations of women religious.
The Federation Grassroots Planners represent many congregations who imagine and plan for intentional meetings and retreats for Sisters and Associates. The committee organizes regional gatherings for Sisters, Associates/Affiliates and friends to deepen their understanding and practice of the Charity charism. Seventy Sisters and Associates participated in the June 2015 Grassroots retreat entitled Cosmic Symphony of Love Unfolding, a Charity Charism Retreat in the Living Cosmology, guided by Maureen Wild SC-H and musician Joyce Rouse.
Sisters who joined Federation congregations since 1970 gather every two years as the Charity Moving Forward group (formerly 1970's and Beyond). The group is committed to building supportive peer relationships for the sake of the Mission, engaging in challenging conversations which delve deeper into our commitment to Charity, sharing experiences of ministry and community to learn from one another and enhance collaboration, and gathering for enrichment, prayer and input on topics related to our lives of service and our shared future. The 2015 gathering used Awakening the Dreamer materials to explore the new reality of living the charism in today’s world. The next gathering is scheduled for July 2017.