Province Leadership Elected for 2014-2019

New Province Leadership

Province Leaders 2014-2019 l-r: Sisters Rita Marie Schmitz, Maureen Freeman, Marilyn Lott, Linda Straub, Mary Margaret Lazio.

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, St. Louis Province announce the members of the province leadership elect 2014-2019: Sisters Maureen Freeman, Mary Margaret Lazio, Marilyn Lott, Rita Marie Schmitz and Linda Straub. The new leaders will take office on July 1.

The leadership was selected at the Chapter of Elections held at the province motherhouse from January 24-28. The chapter not only convenes to elect new leaders, but to identify a focus for the community in relation to mission and ministry in today’s church and world, grounded in the spirit of the founders who were called to serve the dear neighbor without distinction.

“Our women responded to the needs of the times. We are being called now to respond to the signs and the times of the people today,” says Sister Maureen who serves as the director of the White Violet Center for Eco Justice in Indiana. “We walk on the shoulders of women who have gone before us and who have made us come to this moment to choose something new again.”

Sister Rita Marie, who has been educating students for more than 40 years at Fontbonne University in St. Louis, sees her role as leader to look and listen at things from a new perspective. “I perceive a leader as someone who looks at possibilities within people’s gifts rather than a problem solver, with a mindfulness of how to best meet the needs of our day.”

Sister Marilyn, staff chaplain at St. Louis University Medical Center, believes that responding to these needs is not contingent on the size of the community, but in living the spirit of the first six Sisters of St. Joseph who came to St. Louis to serve more than 175 years ago.  “What if the first six sisters said, ‘Wait, it’s too risky"? We, too, can trust just as they did. We will continue to find ways to ‘divide the city’ and to be in the relationship with the dear neighbor.”

Sister Linda, campus minister at the Catholic Student Center at Washington University in St. Louis, says that the future of mission and ministry is not solely based on work and will power, but on the gifts received through the grace of personal and communal prayer. “I believe the journey begins with each of us, she says. “We need to continue to listen to the spirit and have means of responding where ever the spirit is calling us.”

Wherever the spirit calls, Sister Mary Margaret envisions the future as a realization of the dreams of the founders. “My vision for the future essentially focuses on us becoming more and more the Community of the Great Love of God. If we do that, everything else will be addressed. We have nowhere to go but forward.”


By Jenny Beatrice
January 31, 2014

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