Joined Together in the Mission of Charity

Leadership meeting June 14

Les Religieuses de Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur leadership team poses for a portrait taken by Beata Gesicka, communicator for the Sisters of St. Martha of Antigonish

The second full day of the SC Federation leadership meeting began with a welcome from Sister Judy Mertz, SC, and a prayer video presented by Sisters of St. Martha of Antigonish Claudette Gallant. Facilitator Pat Kozak, CSJ, gave an overview of the day, and encouraged the group to continue to raise and address questions from what they heard yesterday.

Next on the agenda were some tea table conversations about courageous decisions. Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy Mary Jo Ritter and Carol Wentworth joined Susan Oxley to share the story of their congregation embracing a new chapter, including the sale of their property, the relocation of their sisters, and forwarding their mission at their new home. Sisters Donna Dodge, SC (New York) and Maureen Shaughnessy, SC (New Jersey) spoke about their recent joint assembly, an historic first for the East Coast congregations.

After a break, members of the SC Federation Finance Committee (Sisters Brendalee Boisvert, CSM, chairperson/treasurer; Donna Dodge, SC; and Jean Anne Panisko, SCL), presented a budget and demographics report. There was then time for table discussions and sharing in the whole.

Darlene O’Leary, Martha Justice Ministry coordinator, interviews Sister Grace Hartzog, SC, federation executive director, for a future podcast

After lunch, the leaders were called to make a decision on the House of Charity based on the report they received and the presentation they heard yesterday from the Think Tank Group. Prior to the vote, questions of clarification were addressed.

The leaders then heard verbal reports from other Think Tank groups, including Online Retreats, Relationship Building, and Assembly of the Whole. Sisters Carole Blazina, SC (Seton Hill) and Nancy Murphy, DC, spoke about the possibility of developing online retreats for federation members. The Assembly of the Whole report was reviewed and discussed. The Shared Governance report was postponed until Thursday.

The group then separated into individual leadership teams, and the teams met at assigned tables. They were asked to focus on the following questions:

  • What needs your shared attention this year? (or at least very soon)
  • What likely belongs first to you and your leadership team for reflection and consideration?
  • What is likely better explored as a federation rather than individually?

The day ended with an evening social hosted by the Sisters of St. Martha of Antigonish. Sister Brendalee Boisvert, CSM, shared the story of Bethany Centennial Garden, which the leaders will tour Thursday.

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