The Federation meeting opened last night at 7:00pm on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 with a welcome by the Daughters of Charity and by Sister Jean Rhoads, DC, chair of the Planning Committee. After practical housekeeping items, she noted two new exhibits prepared by the Federation archivists and a new exhibit by Seton Heritage Ministries on how sisters are ministering today. Sister Jean introduced Sister Mary Jordan, a Franciscan Missionary Sister of Africa, facilitator of this Federation meeting. The members of each congregation introduced themselves individually, and Sister Jean introduced members of the Planning Committee and support personnel. Sisters Louise Gallahue, DC of the Eastern Province, and Marjory Ann Baez, DC of the Western Province, provided a history of the Daughters of Charity, paralleling it to the foundation of the Sisters of Charity in Emmitsburg by Elizabeth Ann Seton. The presentation concluded with a prayer litany celebrating the early leaders of all congregations in the Federation.
Thursday’s meeting was opened by Sister Julie Cutter who reviewed the governance structure of the Federation and introduced NGO liaisons and members of the CCFP attending this year’s meeting.
After morning prayer, Sister Julie introduced Sister Teresa Kotturan, SCN, Federation NGO Representative. Teresa, who assumed her position as NGO January 2015, is well-qualified as a global citizen with international vision, interest in all global issues, and eagerness to work collaboratively with the Vincentian Family to make the world our stage. She emphasized the absolute necessity to move forward collaboratively to create a new paradigm as Federation and as Vincentian Family, raising over two million voices to speak with one voice at the UN. Collaboration as a pattern for our ministry comes to us from Vincent who urged, “enlist the help of others.” Teresa reminded the Federation that its commitment to bring systemic change to our ministries is a commitment to collaboration and partnership. She concluded by challenging the Federation to consider avenues of collaboration and thanked the Federation members for their support of her work.
Three NGO liaisons, Brenda Gonzalez, SCN, BettyMarie Dunkel, DC-W, and Father Terry Moran for SC-StE, offered bold choices and suggestions to further Federation collaboration. This was followed by video presentations on efforts of seven congregations to bring about systemic change.
After lunch, Susan Gatz, SCN, President of the Federation Board, presented the President’s report, emphasizing the rich and thought-provoking Preamble of the Federation Strategic Plan 2012-1017, and ending with Vincent’s challenge to be “inventive to infinity.”
Sister Mary Jordan, Facilitator, next provided directions for table reflection and further discussion on the responses returned on the survey to key questions:
- What are the one or two bold new choices that will impel us to our shared future as a Federation?
- What do we as Federation need to embrace and to let go of to move us in that direction?
The day concluded with liturgy celebrated by Reverend Patrick Griffin, CM.
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