The Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton, Iowa, held their Chapter May 10 through 14 to set direction for the next four years. Chapter is described as a time when sisters and others come together to have deep conversations about their life, mission, and future. Catherine Bertrand, SSND, a member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, facilitated.
The congregation reaffirmed their mission of living and promoting active nonviolence and peacemaking and their charism of ongoing conversion. As a whole, they committed to supporting the future of the Franciscan Peace Center; building and maintaining relationships and collaborations; creating sacred spaces for reconciliation and repair of harm; exploring the emerging future of religious life; and strengthening their corporate stands which address the death penalty, nuclear disarmament, immigration reform, human trafficking, care of creation, and basic human rights and income inequality. (Read the full 2021 Chapter Commitment Statement HERE.)
Additionally, the Chapter affirmed a statement in response to racial injustice issued in June 2020, that pledged listening to the experience and wisdom of people of color, learning about racism in all its dimensions (systemic, institutional, and cultural), working in solidarity with people of color for radical reforms to racialized systems, and recommitting to nonviolence as the way to effect systemic, societal, and personal change.
A public, livestreamed concert by singer/songwriter Sara Thomsen was held on May 12. The concert was in celebration of, and in gratitude for, the outgoing 2016-2021 leadership team members Sisters Janice Cebula, Marilyn Huegerich, and Kathleen Holland, as well as the entire community’s commitment to the mission of living and promoting active nonviolence and peacemaking.
The 2021-2025 leadership team was announced on May 14, and includes Sister Janice Cebula, president; Sister Marilyn Huegerich, vice president; and Sister Ruth E. Westmoreland, councilor. The new leadership team will be installed at a later date.