Chapter of Affairs and Elections Concludes
The final day of the congregation’s Chapter of Affairs and Elections concluded on Saturday, April 22 with a blessing of the newly elected Leadership Team and finalization of the Chapter direction that will guide the Community into its emerging future. Read More.
Saturday, April 22 – Opening Liturgy
By S. Barbara Davis
Many Sisters and Associates gathered for Mass at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 22 to begin our final day of Chapter. The reading from the Acts of the Apostles (6:1-7) revealed that even in the early days of the Church complaints arose. Leaders gathered to discuss and reflect on how the issue would be resolved. The Gospel (John 6:16-21) recounted the story of the disciples tossed about in their boat by a strong wind which had arisen. They were afraid as they saw Jesus walking on the sea and approaching them. Jesus’ words, “It is I. Do not be afraid,” calmed their anxiety. In her reflection S. Mary Ann Flannery related both of these scriptures to our Chapter experience, and really to our life as the Family of Charity. We continue to grow and deepen in our relationships and in our service to others. “Tethered by love” we need not be afraid as we respond to the needs of an ever-changing landscape, often characterized by uncertainty. Through it all, God is with us – indeed, we need not be afraid!
Before our liturgy ended, all present extended hands in blessing for the newly elected Leadership Team: S. Monica Gundler, president, and councilors: Sisters Barbara Hagedorn, Teresa Marie Laengle, Lois Jean Goettke, and Montiel Rosenthal. A resounding “Amen” was spoken after each intercession. The final one – “May you surrender confidently to God whose power now at work in you can do immeasurably more than you can ask or image” (Eph. 3:20-21) – was a fitting closing to our prayer.
Saturday, April 22 – Morning Closing Session
By S. Mary Ellen Murphy
Our last day of Chapter arrived and 100 wee bit weary, though grateful, Sisters gathered to bring closure to a very full week by finalizing our direction to guide us into our emerging future. The three Sisters tasked with listening all week, Marge Kloos, Andrea Koverman and Louise Lears, presented a final version of our Chapter Directive for the body’s affirmation, entitled “Our SC Horizon.” After some table conversation, we affirmed unanimously our new Chapter Direction.
The last piece of business was to approve proposed changes to our SC Directives on the spirit of collegiality, accountability and subsidiarity. It was presented and approved with the corresponding responsibilities in the policies to be addressed by the newly elected Leadership Council.
The idea of continuing to mine the riches of our Chapter Prayer surfaced without the word “Chapter” and was received with spontaneous agreement, since it has been expressing well our ongoing needs, hopes and desires on our journey together toward wholeness.
“Thank-you’s” abounded for all persons and committees whose creative, generous and tireless energy brought Chapter 2023 into life with special gratitude to the outgoing Leadership Council.
When all was said and done, prompted by a quote from the poet David Whyte that “Every act of naming is an act of courage,” our facilitators invited the delegates to name our week together in Chapter in “one good word.” A few for the record:
TRUST – FAITHFULNESS – AMEN – LISTEN – HORIZON –GRATEFUL – GRACED – TOGETHER.
With gratitude, President S. Patricia Hayden officially closed Chapter 2023.