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March 2010 Leadership Conference of Women Religious Newsletter

March 2010 Leadership Conference of Women Religious Newsletter

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Published by: Leadership Conference of Women Religious on Jun 17, 2010
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LCWR Update —March 2010 page 1
Inside this issue:
March 2010
Hope in the Midst of Darkness
LCWR 2010 Assembly August 10 - 14, 2010Dallas, Texas
LCWR Mourns the Death of Mary Daniel Turner, SNDdeN
ormer LCWRexecutive direc-tor Mary DanielTurner, SNDdeNdied on January 27, fol-lowing an illness. Shewas known through-out the world as atireless advocate forhuman dignity and asan inuential thinkerwho worked to bringabout change in thechurch and in religious life. In 2005 LCWR honored herwith its Outstanding Leadership Award.Born in Washington, DC, she held a bachelor of arts de-gree in philosophy from Trinity University, a master ofarts in philosophy from Catholic University of America,and a master of arts degree in theology from St. Mi-chael’s Institute at the University of Notre Dame.Following her entrance into the Sisters of Notre Damede Namur after high school, she taught in elementaryand secondary schools as well as in college, and was anelementary school principal. Within her congregation,she served as director of junior professed members,was elected provincial of her congregation’s Marylandprovince and was later elected superior general.Mary Daniel’s service and inuence extended far be-yond her own congregation. She was the national chairof the Sister Formation Conference and the executivedirector of the Conference of Major Superior of Women(CMSW), later to be called the Leadership Conferenceof Women Religious, from 1972-78. For many years, she
2010 Assembly Focuses on theEcclesial Role of WomenReligious in these Critical Times
he 2010 LCWR national assembly promises to be an important gathering for women religiousleaders at this decisive moment in the history ofthe church and religious life.With the theme “Hope in the Midst of Darkness,” theassembly will further develop the focus for LCWRafrmed by the 2009 assembly for this year: exploringthe ecclesial role of women religious. Two outstandingspeakers, M. Shawn Copeland, PhD, and Richard Gail-lardetz, PhD, will address the assembly on the currentchallenges facing religious as they seek to live in delityto the vision of Jesus and the ecclesial vision of the Sec-ond Vatican Council.Dr. Copeland is an associate professor of systematictheology at Boston College. She is the author and editor
LCWR Update — March 2010 — page 2
From the LCWR Presidency
by Mary Hughes, OP — LCWR President-Elect
We Need to Step Apart
t is nearly Lent and the boards of both LCWR and CMSM are gatheredin a retreat house in Tucson, Arizonato discuss issues of mutual impor-tance. It is a desert immersion experi-ence. One can’t help but be remindedthat the desert was the place Jesus choseto spend signicant time in preparationfor his years of active ministry.The desert is both majestic and a placeof extremes. The sun brings both lightand great warmth by day. At sunset thenights become cold and there is utterdarkness. In the darkness the stars are brilliant. Theprimary vegetation is cactus and brush. Many of thecacti here are huge. All are dangerous to touch. Moun-tains and brown rocky soil mark the terrain. Beyond thepaths marked out for us, it would be easy to becomelost. It is a place of silence.Other than the beauty of this desert, there is little op-portunity for distraction. A wall in the Renewal CenterChurch quotes Hosea, “the desert will lead you to yourheart where I will speak.” No wonder Jesus chose thedesert. It became a powerful metaphor for his journey. Jesus longed to make sense out of the changes thatwere to mark his shift from that of the carpenter’s sonto his public identity as God’s son. He needed little inthe desert. He had the light of the sun by day and thestars by night. There was no clear path. His desert daysoffered him time to explore the terrain, to get lost, todiscover different kinds of beauty, to know dryness, andto long for community. The desert led him to his heart.There, God would speak. When Jesus emerged fromthe desert, he knew there would be no turning back. Heknew what he must do.
Ti L ra th Gspe coud govrn our lv or tan our caar.Whn  mrg, ogg for cuty, wl ar wt o ahr a Gd  o n u. For  l , a s, wl ko a  us .
We, sisters and followers of Jesus, knowsomething about this journey. Daysare all too often lled with extremes ofemotion and unexpected events. We areprivileged to listen to the sacred sharingof the joys and sorrows, the hopes anddreams of many. Yet that which we holdin our hearts can make us feel power-less. At times we feel both lost andparched. There are times when we knowwe have touched danger. Jesus never apologized for taking timeapart. His initial days in the desert weresignicant but followed by frequent references to goingapart to pray. Jesus, fully human and fully divine, knewwhat he needed in his exercise of leadership. He neededto be in those places and spaces where his Father andthe Spirit could speak. Can we do less?This Lent perhaps the Gospel could govern our livesmore than our calendars. As we struggle to make senseout of the challenges before us, we need to step apartand to do so unapologetically. When we experiencepowerlessness, confusion, dread, and dryness, we needa sanctuary to achieve clarity. This practice needs to be as much a part of our leadership as any meetingwe chair or presentation we prepare. Our leadershipneeds to come from that place in our hearts where Godspeaks. We will not have 40 days and we may not havea physical desert, but we, like Jesus, need to take refugein those places where God speaks.When we emerge, longing for community, we will sharewith one another what God has done in us. For a littlewhile, at least, we will know what we must do. Therewill be no turning back.
LCWR Update —March 2010 page 3
(continued from page 1)
served as a facilitator, retreat director, and organiza-tional consultant to numerous religious congregationsand Catholic organizations. This work involved her aswell in the founding of several national organizationsincluding: the Religious Formation Conference, theAssociation of Contemplative Sisters, the Center for theStudy of Religious Life, Sisters Uniting, NETWORK,and the United States Catholic Mission Conference(now USCMA). She also coordinated and facilitatedseveral InterAmerican conferences and gatherings.Her written contributions include:
The Transformation of  American Catholic Sisters
, a book she co-authored withLora Ann Quiñonez, CDP; a chapter on power and au-thority in the book
Called and Chosen: Toward A Spiritual-ity For Lay Leaders
; and numerous articles.Mary Daniel’s strong commitment to being fully a partof a multi-cultural world where she was exposed tothe injustice suffered by so many led her to the workof executive director of Joseph’s House, a permanentresidence for homeless men with AIDS in Washington,DC. She also lived for several decades in a bi-racial andmultigenerational household.
LCWR Mourns the Death of Mary Daniel Turner, SNDdeN
of several books, and is a former convenor of the BlackCatholic Theological Symposium and a former presi-dent of the Catholic Theological Society of America. Herpresentation is entitled “Radical Openness, Suffering,and the Grace of Hope.”Dr. Gaillardetz is a professor of Catholic studies at theUniversity of Toledo. An expert in Catholic ecclesiology,he has served the church as a presenter and author. Hewas a Catholic delegate on the US Catholic-MethodistEcumenical Dialogue and a past board member of theCatholic Theological Society of America. He will speakon “Contemporary Religious Life’s Creative Fidelity tothe Vision of Vatican II.”The 2010 assembly will also provide opportunities for“courageous conversations” throughout the gatheringwhere participants can engage as a body in discussionsabout important matters facing women religious today.Registration materials will be sent online to all LCWRmembers and associates. All are encouraged to attendthis signicant assembly and add their voice to theconversations.
2010 Assembly Focuses on the EcclesialRole of Women Religious in theseCritical Times
(continued from page 1) M. Shawn CopelandRichard Gaillardetz

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