On February 4, 2002, Carole Shinnick, SSND will assume her new role as Executive Director of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Carole becomes the 11th executive director in the Conference’s 45-year history. 

Carole is well know to many in LCWR, as she has been a member of LCWR since 1993 as Provincial Councilor, Northeastern Province of the School Sisters of Notre Dame (1993-2001). She has worked with LCWR members on the 1997 LCWR Assembly Planning Committee and as Vice-Chairperson for LCWR Region 3 (1995-1998).Most recently, she was elected by LCWR members as Conference Secretary and, as an Officer, served on the LCWR Board of Directors and Executive Committee (1998-2001). 

“I warmly welcome Carole Shinnick as she assumes the position of Executive Director for the Leadership Conference of Women Religious,” said LCWR President Kathleen Pruitt, CSJP, in the December 18, 2001 media release announcing Sister Shinnick’s appointment.  “Carole brings to the position of Executive Director of LCWR a wealth of experience, great enthusiasm and energy grounded in a contemplative and compassionate commitment to strengthening relationships in religious congregations, church and society. The Conference will be well served as Carole assumes her responsibilities and the many tasks required of the office.”

In commenting on the news of her appointment in the same release, Carole noted, “As a member of LCWR, I looked to the Conference as a vital source of vision and encouragement. I believe that LCWR speaks to the church and to society in a clear and credible voice. So, I am delighted, and humbled, to be chosen to work with LCWR as its next Executive Director. ”

Born in Malden, MA, Carole Shinnick entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1960. Following an early career in education, Sister Shinnick completed a Masters of Arts in American Studies at Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT, in 1975 and a Masters in Clinical Social Work at St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO, in 1979. She has practiced clinical social work for over 15 years, first as a family therapist and counselor for religious for Catholic Family Services, Archdiocese of St. Louis, MO (1979-1989) and then as a clinical social worker in private practice in Ridgewood, NJ (1989-1994). Carole was elected to leadership for her community in 1993 as Provincial Councilor, Northeastern Province of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, a position she held until 2001. She has been a member of LCWR since 1993.

Carole succeeds former Executive Director Mary Christine Fellerhoff, CSA, who left LCWR in September 2001 upon her installation as General Superior of the Congregation of Saint Agnes. 

LCWR Executive Committee Meets

LCWR’s Executive Committee gathered in Washington, DC, January 8-10 to review current conference activities and the budget for special projects, to prepare the agenda for the February board meeting, and to design a process for discussion of authority and obedience at spring regional meetings.  

USCCB Committee on Education Reviews Current Catechetical Work

At its semiannual meeting January 15 in Washington, DC, the USCCB Committee on Education addressed current aspects of Catholic education and catechesis. The group received the first draft of the National Directory for Catechesis; this document will now be distributed for consultation to all dioceses and selected organizations. Reflecting on the diversity of the U.S. church, the committee recognized the need for translation of educational materials into languages besides English and Spanish. The group reviewed a collection of best practices in catechist formation and also a study report of 158 new Catholic schools, eight of which are sponsored by religious communities. Staff reported on public policy advocacy priorities and current legal issues. During the extended lunch break, committee members enjoyed exploring interactive exhibits in the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center. Judy Cannon, RSM, represented LCWR as a participating observer.

LCWR Discusses Conference Work with Apostolic Nuncio

Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, Apostolic Nuncio, graciously welcomed the LCWR Presidency and Interim Executive Director to the Vatican Embassy the afternoon of January 8. The group discussed LCWR’s current activities such as the Days of Contemplation and Fasting, the August Assembly, and the Image Project. The Presidency presented Archbishop Montalvo with a copy of Women and Jurisdiction and noted the importance of this study in promoting understanding of women’s roles in church ministry. The group also discussed preliminary plans for the April visit of the LCWR officers to Vatican congregations. 

Donation Makes LCWR Website Redesign Possible

With the downturn in investments, the much-needed renovation of the LCWR website, estimated to cost $35,000, was postponed until a generous gift-in-kind made the project a reality for 2002.

During a recent LCWR Executive Committee meeting, Board member Christine Vladimiroff, OSB, offered to contact Rita Laravee, who designed and managed the Erie Benedictines’ web site, for assistance. Rita generously agreed to help redesign the whole site – both for look and functionality – pro bono. LCWR thanks Christine and Rita for their donation. Look for the new web site in the coming months! 

Days of Contemplation 2002  
Monthly Reflection: Mary Mollison, CSA

February 2002

In deep inner silence 
Each of us waits 
Waiting as well 
A world that is wounded.  

In darkness and chaos 
God's WORD is the  

 - Kathleen Pruitt, CSJP, Christmas, 2002

Listen attentively as God's WORD 
speaks within your heart and within 
the many relationships you encounter as leader.


For Your Information

TRANSFORMING COMMUNITY-CELEBRATING DIVERSITY is a series of workshops from the Religious Formation Conference and Mexican-American Cultural Center on community and cultural diversity.  For further information, contact RFC at 301-588-4938,, or

  •  March 2-3, 2002
    Seattle University
    Seattle WA (Region 15)
  • April 6-7, 2002
    St. Chas. Borromeo Pastoral Center, 
    Romeoville IL (Region 8)
  • April 13-14, 2002
    Xavier Center
    Convent Station NJ (Regions 2 & 3)
  • April 20-21, 2002
    Catholic Diocese of Witchita Spiritual Life Center
    Wichita KS (Region 13)

New LRCR Website Launched - The Legal Resource Center for Religious (LRCR) has recently upgraded its website to provider for its subrcibers a more effective resource tool for subscribers. At , visitors will find both information on the range of services offered by LRCR, as well as information about current projects being researched. It includes a virtual law library available to subscribers only, accessed through a password.  Timely articles and resources dealing with government benefits, canon law, corporations, immigration, copyright and more may be found in this section. As well, an electronic version of the Taxes Notebook is posted here, together with links to appropriate forms and publications on the IRS website and elsewhere. For more information, visit the LRCR web site at 

Archbishop Romero Commemoration – The Religious Task Force on Central America and Mexico has prepared organizational packets for the commemoration of the death of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador, March 24. Packets include an outline for a religious service, reflections of Archbishop Romero on the challenge of peace, and suggestions for solidarity involvement. $6 for one copy. Order from RTFCAM, 3053 Fourth St., NW, Washington, DC 20017; phone 202-529-0441. 

CSRL Releases Second Report on Community Dialogues - The Center for the Study of Religious Life (CSRL) has just published the proceedings of the community dialogues under the title Reflection & Dialogue: COMMUNITY in society, church, and religious life - making the connections. During 2000-2001 participants in Washington, DC, Chicago, IL and San Antonio, TX, identified important issues on community for religious communities to address with their members.  In the book, observations of participants and panel members are organized into sections on the spiritual core of community, living well together, embracing members from the younger generations, and witness of religious community. Interspersed between the observations are suggested questions and exercises for use within communities.  Participant recommendations on various aspects of community are gathered into another section entitled “Work of Leaders in a Religious Institute,” to assist congregational leadership in assessing the suggestions.

Copies are available for $7 each within the U.S. (plus shipping and handling) from the National Coalition for Church Vocations (NCCV), 5420 S. Cornell Ave., Chicago, IL 60615-5604.  Call 1-800-671-NCCV for individual and multiple copies. 

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