God’s Infinite Vision: Our Journey to the Borders and Beyond

From left: Holy Cross Sr. Sharlet Wagner, past president; St. Joseph Sr. Jayne Helmlinger, president; and Adrian Dominican Sr. Elise García, president-elect (GSR file photo)

The LCWR assembly is an important moment for collective reflection on the twin crises hitting the world at this time – COVID-19 and the realization of how deep systemic racism is in this country. 

The more than 900 assembly participants engaged with one another in prayer, conversation, and discernment about how this reality is changing their lives, their institutes, the people they serve, and literally, the entire global community. The world is being irrevocably changed and it cries out for healing, care, and transformation. This assembly provided time for the participants to listen together to those cries and ask themselves collectively how to respond.

Questions for Discernment During The Assembly

What does it mean to serve in religious life leadership at such a fragile, uncertain time? 

What new opportunities do the pandemic and the cries for racial justice provide so that the world may move in closer alignment with God’s infinite vision? 

What is the call to women religious at this time?

We invite you, the visitor, to read the following articles about the virtual assembly, the new LCWR President and the Outstanding Leader Award.

LCWR: Immigration Modernization Act

LCWRThe Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) welcomes the release of S-744, Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 and thanks Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY), John McCain (R-AZ), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) for their efforts to craft bi-partisan legislation to fix our nation’s broken immigration system.

The Senate bill provides hope to our immigrant brothers and sisters and the promise that values that are the bedrock of our national identity will flourish.
We applaud provisions in the legislation that would create a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million individuals currently forced into the shadows; clear systemic backlogs that keep families apart; and provide a process for future flow of immigrants that protects the rights and dignity of all. We are particularly pleased that the bi-partisan “Gang of Eight” recognized the special circumstances of our country’s DREAMERs and of our brothers and sisters fleeing persecution and violence.
“As women of faith we take seriously the gospel call to welcome the stranger and care for those in need. While the bill is not all we hoped for, it is an excellent beginning,” said Janet Mock, CSJ, executive director of LCWR.”
We are concerned about those who may be left behind including: brothers, sisters, and adult children of aspiring Americans; low-income people who are unable to pay required fines; and women and others working in the informal economy who are unable to establish employment documentation. We are concerned about those who while contributing to our communities and paying taxes, will be denied rights and benefits, including basic health care.
We look forward to working with Congress to ensure that the final bill honors the values upon which our nation was built, includes a reasonable roadmap to citizenship, prioritizes family unity, protects the rights of all, promotes the integration of new Americans, and addresses the poverty and violence that force migrants from their homes.
LCWR is an association of leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States. The conference has nearly 1500 members, who represent more than 80 percent of the 57,000 women religious in the United States. Founded in 1956, the conference assists its members to collaboratively carry out their service of leadership to further the mission of the Gospel in today’s world.
Sister Annmarie Sanders, IHM
Associate Director for Communications
[email protected]

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LCWR Statement on Family Unity-Houe Committee Hearings

image001LCWR has submitted the following statement to the House Judiciary Committee. We expect Representative Zoe Lofgren (CA 19) to have it read into the record tomorrow as the committee begins hearings on comprehensive immigration reform:
As women of faith we, the members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), take seriously the gospel call to welcome the stranger and care for those in need. As Catholic sisters we are committed to the precepts of Catholic Social Teaching rooted in the Catholic tradition that remind us that the dignity of the person is at the core of our moral vision of society; that how we organize our society affects human dignity directly; and that any system that is deliberately cruel or inhumane needs to change. Because of these beliefs, at our 2012 national assembly, LCWR, “called on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform that includes the reunification of families and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the United States.”
Catholic sisters began coming to these shores 286 years ago as immigrants to serve immigrant populations. To this day they continue to minister to these aspiring citizens in schools and hospitals, in the fields and in the cities. They see the devastating effects of the brokenness of the current immigration system every day. They share the pain of mothers separated from their children and fathers who have risked their lives for love of their families.
The Senate framework and the principles laid out in the President’s speech in Las Vegas provide hope to our immigrant brothers and sisters and promise that the values that are the bedrock of our national identity will flourish—family unity, equal opportunity, due process, and respect for the dignity of all God’s children.
Read on….LCWR Statement on Family Unity

United States House of Representatives Honors Work of Women Religious

On September 22. a resolution honoring the social, cultural and political contributions of Catholic sisters and the roles they have played in shaping life in the United States was unanimously approved by those present in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The resolution, HR 441, pays tribute to the first Catholic sisters to live and work in the United States – nine Ursuline Sisters who journeyed from France to New Orleans in 1727; to the sisters work establishing the nation’s largest private school system; building hospitals, orphanages and charitable institutions; caring for the poor; and serving as activists in promoting peace, justice and democracy. HR 441 further recognize the sisters’ roles in opening the American West, nursing the sick during epidemics and “managing organizations long before similar positions were open to women.”

LCWR History Committee
LCWR History Committee

The resolution was introduced by Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) last May and co-sponsored by Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH, 17th district), Rep. Charlie Wilson (D-OH, 6th district) and 65 members from both parties in response to the “Women and Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America” traveling exhibit. The exhibit is sponsored by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).

The full text of the resolution is available on the LCWR Web site.