Looking for information on the Who Then Shall We Be? Livestream Event? Scroll to the bottom of this page for a PDF document.

 About the 2024 Assembly

This assembly will name and look critically at what is happening in the world today and in religious life in order to see the compelling call to religious life at this time. The content will provide the impetus for leaders to bring forth the best inside of themselves and inside their institutes so that we are energized to respond to a world in need of what we have to bring.

We hope leaders will leave the assembly with

  • Confidence that they have what they need within them and are able to draw from that inner wealth as they continue their leadership ministry
  • Energy to make the changes within their institutes that are needed for the future

Assembly Highlights

Set in a context that will honor and highlight the presence of sacred mystery, the assembly will provide prayer and liturgy, input from speakers, and multiple opportunities for processing among leaders and the assembly guests. 
 

Assembly Schedule

Tuesday , August 13

1:00 - 6:00 PM Registration
1:00 - 10:00 PM Contemplation Room Open
1:00 - 10:00 PM Exhibit Hall Open
2:00 - 4:00 PM New Member Orientation
4:30 - 5:30 PM Orientation for Table Facilitators
7:00 - 8:30 PM Opening of the Assembly
8:15 PM Social

Wednesday, August 14

7:30 AM Communal Contemplation
7:30 AM - 4:15 PM Exhibit Hall Open
9:00 AM Prayer
9:15 AM Context-Setting
Presidential Address - Maureen Geary, OP
10:20 AM Break
11:05 AM

Reflectors in Conversation with Maureen Geary, OP
Table Process

12:00 PM Lunch (on your own)
2:00 PM Contemplative Re-Entry
Keynote Presentation: Rev. Bryan N. Massingale
3:00 PM Reflectors in Conversation with Rev. Bryan N. Massingale
3:30 PM Break
4:15 PM Deepening Conversations
5:00 PM Eucharistic Liturgy - Feast of the Assumption
5:45 PM Dinner (on your own) + Free Evening

Thursday, August 15

7:30 AM Eucharistic Liturgy
9:00 AM Prayer
9:15 AM Context-Setting
Keynote Presentation: Maricarmen Bracamontes, OSB
10:10 AM Reflectors in Conversation with Maricarmen Bracamontes, OSB
10:35 AM Break
11:20 AM Table Process
11:50 AM Reflectors: Who Do We Need You to Be for the World?
12:30 PM Lunch (on your own)
2:30 PM Discerning the Emerging Future: What is Emerging?
3:45 PM Break
4:15 PM Deepening Conversations
5:00 PM

Close of Day
Dinner (on your own)

7:30 PM DJ

Friday, August 16

7:30 AM Communal Contemplation
9:00 AM Prayer
9:15 AM Executive Session -- LCWR Members
Sharing Session -- LCWR Associates and Guests
10:45 AM Break
11:15 AM Sharing from Sessions with Members and Associates and Guests
12:00 PM Blessing of LCWR Leadership
Blessing of All Leaders
12:30 PM Lunch (on your own)
2:00 PM Who Then Shall We Be?
3:15 PM Break
3:45 PM Eucharistic Liturgy
7:00 PM Banquet
Outstanding Leadership Award
Adjournment 

Main Speakers

Bryan N. Massingale is a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. He received his doctorate in moral theology from the Academia Alphonsianum (Rome). He specializes in social ethics and teaches courses on Catholic Social Thought, African American religious ethics, sexual ethics, and racial justice. His professional passion is advancing a Black approach to Catholic theological ethics. His approach to social ethics focuses upon the impact of religious faith as both an instrument of social injustice and a catalyst for social transformation.

He is a professor of theological and social ethics at Fordham University. There he holds the James and Nancy Buckman Chair in Applied Christian Ethics and is the senior fellow at Fordham’s Center for Ethics Education.  Prior to his position at Fordham, he was a professor of theology at Marquette University for 12 years.

Bryan is a leader in the field of theological ethics. He is a former president of the Society of Christian Ethics; a former convener of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium; and a former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America. He has served on the editorial boards of premier Catholic journals of theology, including Theological Studies, the Journal of Moral Theology and the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics and has authored more than 200 articles, books, and essays.

 

Maricarmen Bracamontes, OSB was born in Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico. She studied medicine before becoming a member of the Benedictines of Mexico City. She studied philosophy at the Pontifical University of Mexico and later studied theological sciences at the Colegio Máximo de Cristo Rey, the theological Institute of the Society of Jesus in Mexico City. She finished her degree at the Universidad Iberoamericana.

In addition to being a teacher, she served the Conference of Religious Institutes in Mexico (CIRM). Because of her training in both medicine and theology, she worked in the area of sexuality, affection and celibacy. In 1992, she was one of a group of sisters who founded a monastery in northern Mexico, Monasterio Pan de Vida in Torreón, Coahuila.

Maricarmen collaborates on the team of theological advisors to the presidency of the Confederation of Latin American Religious (CLAR) and writes articles for various theological reflection journals.

 

Maureen Geary, OP is the president of LCWR and a member of Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is completing 18 years in congregation leadership – six as vicaress, treasurer, and councilor for finance; six as prioress; and will complete an additional six this year again as a councilor.

Maureen earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, a master’s degree from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from the University of Michigan. She served Aquinas College from 1987-1997 in roles as assistant professor of business, controller, and vice president for finance. She has also worked as a certified public accountant and as an attorney, and served in ministries with the Diocese of Grand Rapids Secretariat for Social Justice and the Kent County Coalition to End Homelessness. In addition, she has served on more than a dozen nonprofit boards in the areas of housing, education, health care and social service.

Reflectors/Responders

Nine LCWR members will offer reflections after each of the major addresses around the question: As a religious life leader at this time, what was it in this address that affirmed what I think, challenged me to think and act differently, or raised questions for me – and why? 

Responders to Bryan Massingale
Jackulin Jesu, SCN
Betsy Pawlicki, OP
Montiel Rosenthal, SC

Responders to Maricarmen Bracamontes, OSB
Renée Daigle, MSC 
Elsa García, CDP
Michelle L’Allier, OSF

Responders to Maureen Geary, OP
Melissa Camardo, SCL
Mary Ellen Tennity, IHM
Maria Sheila Undang, OCarm

Who Do We Need You to Be for the World?

LCWR invited three people who know women religious well to address the question: Who Do We Need You to Be for the World? The following three guests will be responding to that question:

  • Sandra Coles-Bell - executive director, National Black Sisters' Conference
  • Katie Gordon - co-founder of Nuns & Nones and a staff member at Monasteries of the Heart 
  • Kerry Robinson - president and CEO, Catholic Charities USA

Contemplative Processing for the Transformation of Consciousness

The 2024 gathering will incorporate contemplative processing so that participants may collectively listen carefully for the movement of God’s Spirit among them. Processing will be especially directed to assisting participants to be attentive to the presence of sacred mystery in their lives and their call to contribute to the transformation of consciousness needed in our world today. 
 

Who Then Shall We Be?

During Friday, August 16, from 2:00 - 3:00 PM, the assembly will engage in a reflective process that explores the question: "Who Then Shall We Be?" in light of the many critical issues facing the nation and the world today. This event, which will utilize the arts and experiences of contemplation, will be livestreamed and the public is invited to participate in it. Scroll to the bottom of this page for more information.

Contemplation Opportunities

Throughout the assembly, participants will be invited to experience times of contemplation. A space, dedicated in the hotel as a contemplative room, will be open to participants throughout each day. Two opportunities for communal contemplation in that space will be offered.

New Member Orientation

Any LCWR member who is attending an LCWR assembly for the first time, or any current member who has been out of leadership for a few years is encouraged to attend the New Member Orientation on Tuesday, August 13 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM. Participants will receive valuable information, not only about the assembly, but also about LCWR.

Assembly Guests

Given the topics of this assembly and the need among institutes to involve staff and/or other sisters in the administration of the institute, each leadership team is welcome to register up to two additional guests for this assembly. Many leadership teams have lay staff serving as chief operating officers, chief financial officers, or other positions of delegated authority -- or they may be working closely with a member of the institute who is not an elected leader but is very involved in the administration of the institute. Leadership teams are welcome to bring to the assembly one or two of these persons whom they think would benefit from participating. Guests will be invited to participate in all sessions except the executive session for LCWR members Friday morning, August 16. At that time there will be a separate session for LCWR associates and guests.
 

Spanish Language

Since Spanish is the first language of several LCWR members, we will provide both professional simultaneous translation services as well as the opportunity for those leaders to be at tables where they can process the assembly in the language that is most comfortable for them. In order to have diversity at those tables, we invite any member who speaks Spanish to consider participating at a Spanish-speaking table.
 

LCWR Outstanding Leadership Award Presentation

At the assembly banquet on August 16, LCWR will honor Nancy Schreck, OSF with its 2024 Outstanding Leadership Award. A Sister of St. Francis of Dubuque, Iowa, Nancy served in leadership and formation ministry in her congregation, as well as in the LCWR presidency and as a US delegate to the International Union of Superiors General (UISG). She also served for eight years as a member of the council of the Franciscan Handmaids located in New York.

Her contributions to LCWR over the years -- including keynote presentations at LCWR assemblies, facilitation of the Leading from Within Retreat and New Leader Workshop, articles, and more -- have influenced leaders nationally and globally. She is a sought-after presenter and facilitator for many religious groups throughout the world.

Nancy founded and is currently the program director of Excel Inc., a community service organization located in Okolona, Mississippi.

In Service of the Assembly

Maria Elena Martinez, OSF will serve as the facilitator of this year’s assembly. Maria Elena is a Redwood City Franciscan. As an experienced facilitator, she has a gift for creating intercultural processes that nurture communal discernment. She is presently provincial minister of her province community in California. 

Julie Tragon will serve as the coordinator of prayer and liturgy for the assembly. She has worked for the past 23 years as a full-time director of music and liturgy at parishes within the Tampa Bay area and in northeast Ohio where she currently resides. She is now serving as the pastoral associate/director of religious education and youth ministry at Church of the Resurrection in Solon, Ohio. She also serves as liturgist and musician for the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament – Province of St. Ann. She holds an undergraduate degree in music education and a graduate degree in theology and is a mother of three children.

Exhibits

The LCWR assembly draws a large number of exhibitors whom we encourage you to visit. The exhibit hall will be open at the following times:

Tuesday, August 13 - 1:00 PM - 7:00 PM, 8:30 PM -10:00 PM

Wednesday, August 14 - 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Thursday, August 15 - 7:30 AM -11:15 AM