Leadership Conference of Women Religious Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Call to Respond to the Urgent Needs of the Times

 [Atlanta, GA]  The leaders of US orders of Catholic sisters met in Atlanta, Georgia from August 18 to 21 to commemorate the 50th anniversary year of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). More than 800 leaders from across the country gathered in assembly and discussed key religious life issues. A special feature was the participation in part of the assembly of approximately 100 local Atlanta women leaders from various faiths and professions.

 Speakers called the assembly to be moral and faith-filled leaders in both church and society. Keynoter Sister Joan Chittister, OSB said, “We must continue … to light the way for a world reeling from the anguish of the hungry in our streets, the danger of ecological devastation, the obscenity of war as a political strategy, the sins of systemic oppression, the stench of corporate greed, and the heresy of sexism.

 “We need, as Vatican II defined us, to be prophetic congregations,” she continued. “We must be those who live at the center of society to leaven it, at the bottom of society to speak for it, and on the edge of society to critique it.”

 LCWR president Sister Beatrice Eichten, OSF noted, “As a conference and as member congregations, we have committed to peacemaking, to voicing our belief that God loves all persons equally and totally, and that we are all sisters and brothers. We join together with like-minded people, trusting the hypothesis of Jean Shinoda Bolen that ‘when a critical number of people change how they think and behave, the culture will also, and a new era begins.’”