LCWR Gathering Brings St. Louis Sisters Together


St. Louis area members of the Leadership Conference for Women Religious (LCWR) sponsored a gathering of 278 Catholic sisters on Saturday, August 21, in the May Center at DePaul Health Center in Bridgeton.  The theme of the day was, "Together on the Journey: Charisms Transforming Us."

The gathering opened with a Scripture reflection about the Emmaus Story which was central to the theme of the day.  Sisters from 17 congregations prayerfully read their own charism that reflects each of their individual communities.  Unifying words and phrases common to these 17 charisms included: empowered by baptism, called by Christ, witness of healing love, faithful to heritage rooted in prayer, rooted in Jesus, call to glorify God, serve all people without distinction, impelled by the love of Christ, proclaim the Gospel, respond in faith to the need of the world and transforming presence.

During the morning sessions, sisters were at tables for reflection and conversation about how the story of Jesus on the journey to Emmaus is integral to the journey of Catholic Sisters.   The afternoon session included a panel of LCWR Leadership members, Francine Costello, CSJ, Rose Dowling, FSM Susan Jordan, SSND, and Fran Raia, CPPS, which focused on continuing the journey into the future.   The story of journey to Emmaus, in the afternoon session discussions, is seen as a model for discipleship for the Sisters for today and the future-do the homework (study, reflect on the scriptures), listen to the Spirit within (contemplation), network (discuss with others for enrichment and deepening), go out and share the good news.

Throughout the day, sisters commented with genuine delight about so many of the congregations being together for prayer, reflection and sharing.  They called upon the LCWR leaders to provide more opportunities to be "sister" together in this way.

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