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January 2006 Leadership Conference of Women Religious Newsletter

January 2006 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 -- January 2006 -- page 1
Inside this issue:
January 2006
President Represents LCWR at USCCBInternational Policy Committee Meeting
Religious Formation Conference HonorsLCWR for its 50th Anniversary
(continued on page 5)
Support LCWR Scholarship Fund andSave the Environment
Delegation to El Salvador Remembers,Celebrates, Renews Commitment
he SHARE/LCWR delegation to El SalvadorNovember 30 to December 6 was a not-to-be-for-gotten experience for the 70 women religious and40 others who joined them, including SHARE staff. Thedelegation was well organized, with the large numberdivided into small groups of about 12 who shared thesame visits out in the communities and evening reflec-tions on the day’s experience. LCWR members willshare their experience with region and communitymembers.Some of the high-lights of the tripincluded:a visit to theMemorialWall bearingthe names ofabout 25,000of the 75,000
Thousands Gather at WHINSEC/SOAPax Christi USA Honors PropheticWitness of Women Religious
nce again many women religious joined thelarge gathering at the gates of Fort Benning,Georgia, November 18-20, to call for the closureof the School of the Americas (now Western Hemi-sphere Institute for Security Cooperation), renamed but not transformed. This year 16,000 women, menand children prayed, sang, walked in silent procession,and listened to testimonies of people who had fled ElSalvador, Guatemala, Colombia, Honduras, and Peruto escape the violence carried out by their military andpara-military forces trained at the SOA. About 40 menand women were arrested after crossing the line bycrawling under and over wire fencing.The protest that began with just a few people in 1989was the largest ever this year, with college and highschool students and other young people counting forat least half the participants. Many of the young peopleparticipated in the Jesuit teach-in conducted on thefirst two days of the event. While the program focusedprimarily on the need to close the school, there werealso calls for withdrawal from Iraq, an end to use oftorture by US officials, protection of immigrants, and anational budget that provides for the needs of the mostvulnerable people in society. Participants clearly saw
 Many women religious, including LCWR members, gathered at Fort Benning, Georgia(continued on page 4)
LCWR Update -- January 2006 -- page 2
From the LCWR Presidency
by Christine Vladimiroff,OSB -- LCWR Past President
Stirring Hope Alive in Our Hearts
n a Benedictine monastery, at theend of the Liturgy of the Hoursthe prioress gives the communitya blessing. I have no recall when thecustom started in this monastery of bringing our calendars for the new yearto Morning Praise on January 1. OnNew Year’s morning we include in that blessing a blessing of the calendars. It isan act that embodies our hope that we,as a community, want to be and desire to bring blessings to the days ahead. Thishope is the link between our present andour future. It is a communal venture tomove into the promise with renewed energy.Ladislaw Orsy, SJ in his Advent articles on hope in
magazine wrote: “We live as long as we hope;we live as much as we hope. Loss of hope is a loss oflife.” I tested out the truth of the statement. As I lookout at a world mired in war and violence, do I cherish apromise of a new way of living where “war will be nomore”? As I experience the Church falling short of theinclusive love that Jesus taught, do I cling to the suretythat God’s spirit is the energy, the grace for conversion?As we undertake the task to look at religious life in ourtime as a conference or our own congregation’s future,do we see possibilities or do we only see limitations?How convinced are we that there will be a “new heavenand a new earth”? Hope is based upon a promise, thepromise of God, a promise that says that — human sinand failings notwithstanding — justice, peace, love, andharmony will gradually become our reality.
Together we can forge a future for religious life  worthy of the past that our foremothers achieved.As we undertake the task to look at religious life in our time as a conference or our own congregation’s future,do we see possibilities or do we only see limitations?
Despair is easy. I remind myself as Istruggle to balance the community budget for the new fiscal year, and asI look at the capital needs of an agingmonastery building. We can all makelong lists of what is not working inour life, in our church, in religious lifeitself. Hope is what will keep us on the journey moving ever forward. Tracesof hope will be found each time wetake the next step to cross a frontierand to meet the challenge facing us.Hope is the habit of the heart that ismarked by realism, courage, patienceand willingness to embrace difficulties. Marcel wrote,“Hope is the memory of the future.”Our life is as large as our hope. We must nurture it withGod’s word in Scripture and in our times of silenceand solitude allowing God to speak to us. When wegather in our communities and when we gather as aconference we must stir the hope alive in our hearts.Together we can forge a future for religious life worthyof the past that our foremothers achieved.A few lines of a poem by Canadian poet, Minnie LouisHaskins, (1908) capture my feelings as I bless thecalendars this new year.“The Gate of the Year”I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year“Give me a light that I may tread safely into theunknown”And he replied, “Go into the darkness and put yourHand into the hand of GodThat shall be to you better than light and safer than aknown way!”
LCWR Update -- January 2006 -- page 3
t its 2005 congress in San Antonio in November,the Religious Formation Conference gave spe-cial recognition to both LCWR and the Confer-ence of Major Superiors of Men on the occasion of their50th anniversaries.In accepting the honor for LCWR, executive directorCarole Shinnick, SSND said in part,“LCWR owes a great deal to RFC. The same entitythat gave birth to RFC – the Sisters Formation Confer-ence – also generated the Council of Major Superiorsof Women, which eventually became the LeadershipConference of Women Religious.“LCWR continues to owe a great deal to RFC. Withoutnew members and without well-prepared, professionalpersons like you to mentor them, leadership wouldsoon lose direction and meaning. Your service to yourindividual communities and to religious life is both pre-cious and irreplaceable.“It is not an easy time to serve in leadership - and Isuspect it is not an easy time to serve in the ministryof formation. The milestones with which we used tomeasure progress and success have evaporated and the
Support the LCWR Scholarship Fundby Recycling Ink Cartridges
Number of Entities Participating in Program
LCWR, CMSM, RFC, NATRI, LRCRand 10 LCWR Member Congregations
Amount of Money Received intoLCWR Scholarship Fund
(From September 1 - November 30, 2005)$217.49
Congregations are asked to consider participating inthis program and invitingother entities to do so as well.Other possibilities are health systems, universities,schools, and other works.
Participation in the program is easy and has no costs.Recyclable items include: ink jet cartridges,laser cartridges and cell phones.More information is on the LCWR website at:http://www.lcwr.org/lcwrsocialjustice/recycling.htm
RFC Pays Tribute to LCWR at its2005 Congress
horizon towards which we walk together is veiled infog. Without our familiar landmarks, we certainly haveless security, less clarity. But our losses are coupledwith an unexpected gift – the opportunity to redefinethe journey itself. And – most definitely - we need eachother – for support, encouragement, and for the neces-sary unleashing of each others’ wild and graced imagi-nations.“So, in the name of the Leadership Conference of Wom-en Religious, I thank you for this special recognitiontonight -- and even more, for your dear companionship.Thank you very much.”
RFC executive director Janet Mock, CSJ andCarole Shinnick, SSND with the framed calligraphy that hadbeen presented at the recent RFC congress.

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