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Prioress General joins religious leaders at LCWR Assembly

Prioress General joins religious leaders at LCWR Assembly - (15-08-2018)

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PHOTO: Many of the 800 participants of the 2018 Leadership Conference of Women Religious Assembly stood in silent prayer on the steps of the St. Louis Old Courthouse where Dredd Scott sued for his freedom in 1846. (Credit: LCWR)

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious Religious hosted its annual assembly Aug. 7-10 in St. Louis for more than 800 participants, which included Prioress General Sister Dawn Annette Mills, OSB of the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.

The four-day conference’s theme was “Being the Presence of Love: The Power of Communion” and focused on the urgent need to foster communion and connection in a world plagued by polarization, division and fractures of communion. Speakers explored insights from new understandings of Trinitarian theology and how those insights might help in the creation of new and more effective ways of strengthening and supporting the global community. 

Sister Teresa Maya, CCIV noted the numbers of women religious in her presidential address, ‘We will become lighter and itinerant, we will be fewer. However, we will be enough; we will be what God needs today. We will bring with us our call to community and our stubborn conviction that Christ suffering in God’s people requires our response.” 

In addition to several presentations, the event also include the election of officers, the announcement of the Outstanding Leadership Award and a recommitment to an LCWR resolution to explore and purge the sin of racism and its destructive effects.

The participants demonstrated this commitment by leaving the meeting area and walking outside to the steps of the St. Louis Old Courthouse where Dredd Scott sued for his freedom in 1846. There, members stood in silent prayer to remember victims of racism and to pray for the systemic elimination of racism throughout the country and the world.

Participants practiced contemplative dialogue in small groups twice during the assembly and were also invited to commit to spending time each day in personal and communal contemplation that placed them in deeper communion with the world.

Sister Dawn Annette, who has attended LCWR assemblies in years past, felt this year’s offering was a little different.

This was a much more contemplative gathering than I had ever experienced,” she said. “I most enjoyed the sharing with other Sisters about religious life, the future and the power of God at work among us. It was good seeing people I have met over the years and catching up with them over time. It was a delight to pray and play together as well as reflect together on the rich input that took us deeper into the Mystery of God among us.”

LCWR has approximately 1,350 members who are elected leaders of their religious orders and represent approximately 80 percent of the 48,500 Catholic Sisters in the United States.