Executive Committee Meeting Responds to Current Crisis in the Church and World
At their recent meeting, held at Centro Maria, Washington, DC, April 1 – 3, 2002, the Executive Committee not only addressed the prepared agenda, but also responded to the crisises, both national and international, that have dominated media coverage in recent weeks.
While allotting time for the planning of both the Rome Visitation and the 2002 LCWR Assembly, the Presidency felt strongly that the situation at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and the on-going revelations of alleged clerical abuse in the U.S. Church demanded immediate action and response by the Conference. Significant time was spent preparing both a public statement on the abuse scandal and a letter to the bishops on the same topic and a joint letter with CMSM to President Bush on the escalating situation in the Middle East. These documents are included in this mailing and are available on the LCWR website, www.lcwr.org, and have been circulated to the membership via WorldMerge e-messaging.
Both statements have received significant coverage in the Catholic media, as has a joint letter to the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah. The same week, CMSM and LCWR issued a letter to the Church leaders of Jerusalem and the peoples in the Holy Land that was signed by the Conferences’ Presidents as well as by 426 other Catholic religious leaders, organizations and laity.
Many positive messages have been received at the National Office concerning all of the statements, and the Executive Committee is glad to receive your feedback and know that the statements have been helpful for regions, congregations and others in the Church.
CMSM and LCWR Participate in Action for Peace Press Conference
One hundred peace activists, convened by Global Exchange and other organizations, held a well-attended press conference and supported 20 group members who engaged in peaceful civil disobedience in front of the U.S. State Department April 5, 2002. The purpose of this action was to urge President Bush and Secretary Colin Powell to be more vigorous, immediate, and even-handed in their efforts to encourage peace in Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
At the press conference, CMSM Justice and Peace Office Director Stan DeBoe, OSST, having visited the Holy Land several times, updated the press based on email messages from the Franciscans and Christian Brothers in Bethlehem regarding the Israeli occupation of the Church of the Nativity and Bethlehem University. LCWR Associate Director for Social Mission Judy Cannon, RSM, spoke of her experiences at last summer’s meetings in Jerusalem with religious leaders of the three Abrahamic religions – Jewish, Christian, and Muslim – in which the leaders described the people’s sufferings and deep desires for peace.
National Coalition on Catholic Health Care Ministry Review Resources
On April 9, 2002, members of the National Coalition on Catholic Health Care Ministry met in Washington, DC, to review a draft of an updated resource for bishops, sponsors, and health care leaders regarding current issues in the ministry. They plan to publish the materials in 2003. The group also affirmed the work of the New Covenant Steering Committee as they design audiovisual materials describing “Ministering Together: A Shared Vision for Caring and Healing Ministries.” This committee is planning to collect illustrative stories and identify outstanding leaders of collaborative projects. The Coalition received reports on sponsorship, leadership development, the current collaborative study of the Catholic Health Association and Catholic Charities USA, and Catholic identity in the provision of health care.
LCWR representatives on the Coalition are Bea Eichten, OSF; Diane Grassilli, RSM; Eileen Moughan, SHCJ; Marie Therese Sedgwick, DC; Joan Winkler, OSF; and Judy Cannon, RSM (staff).
LCWR Members Invited to Join Delegation to El Salvador
The SHARE Foundation: Building a New El Salvador Today is organizing a delegation to El Salvador to commemorate the 22nd Anniversary of the Martyrdom of the four U.S. Churchwomen from November 30 – December 8, 2002. We hope that you or members of your congregations will join us in this pilgrimage to honor Ita Ford, MM; Maura Clarke, MM; Dorothy Kazel, OSU; and Jean Donovan who dedicated their lives to the struggle for human dignity, truth, justice and peace in the world. The delegation will include participation in the 22nd anniversary commemorative events, visits to the countryside to accompany communities and learn about SHARE’s women’s empowerment and community development projects, and an advocacy meeting with the U.S. Embassy or Salvadoran government. For information, please contact Amy Nahley at 415-239-2595 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
LCWR Receives Major Donation for Assembly Sponsorships
LCWR has received a very generous financial gift from a member community. They asked that the funds “be used by Leadership Teams who possibly would not be attending the National Assembly due to budget constraints.”
LCWR is extremely grateful for the gift and touched by the sensitivity of the donor community. Most of all, we very much want the funds to be well-used.
If financial concerns may prevent you from attending the National Assembly, please contact LCWR Executive Director Carole Shinnick, SSND at the National Office, 301-588-4955 or email@example.com for additional information.
Rome Visitation Planning in Progress
Officers of LCWR and CMSM are currently preparing for their annual meetings in Rome, scheduled for April 28 – May 4, 2002. Representing LCWR: Kathleen Pruitt, CSJP; Mary Ann Zollmann, BVM; Mary Mollison, CSA; and Carole Shinnick, SSND.
LRCR NOTICE: IRS Group Exemption Ruling
For your information, the annual group exemption ruling from the IRS will no longer be mailed to each community. The current ruling letter is posted for your convenience on the web site of the Legal Resource Center for Religious at www.lrcr.org. It is found in the mission section (http://www.lrcr.org/mission/group.ruling.htm). This may be printed at any time for use in verification of tax-exempt status of your organization. Contact the Legal Resource Center for Religious for further information at 301-589-8143 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the past, LRCR has mailed this information to each religious community. In addition to the cost of the mailing, the letter was often misdirected once it reached the community. Therefore, for the sake of efficiency and convenience, the letter will now be available only on the web site.
CMSM-LCWR Asked to Provide Five Delegates for United Nations NGO Conference
Five CMSM-LCWR members or religious may participate in the annual United Nations Non-Governmental Organization Conference September 9-11, 2002 in New York under the joint HGO status of LCWR and CMSM. If you or a congregation member would like to attend, please request an application form from Judy Cannon, RSM, at the National Office by June 10. Applications must be returned directly to the UN by July 20, 2002 to be considered.
This year’s theme is “Rebuilding Societies Emerging from Conflict: A Shared Responsibility.” The UN requests a $25 donation. Participants pay their own travel and lodging costs. If there are more than five persons interested, national office staff will select participants. Other NGOs may have space for participants as well. For more information, contact Judy Cannon at email@example.com or call 301-588-4955.
Days of Contemplation 2002
Lea Woll, SLW
If we approach each person and circum- stance of life with a listening heart, we will be aware that we are touching God at each moment. Thus, contemplation will become for us a way of life; spontaneous praise, thanks and wonder will be an integral part of our everyday living.
Listen in contemplative silence and
learn to speak your word of truth in
compassion and love.
LCWR is pleased to announce that Sagayamary (Mary) Bastian has become the CMSM-LCWR receptionist effective April 1, 2002. Mary is originally from Bangalore, India. She lives with her husband, Joseph, and son Joshua in Gaithersburg, MD. Welcome, Mary!
While we miss the dulcet voice of Bob Bozek, the former receptionist, Bob is still in our midst as he has joined CMSM full-time as their new Executive Assistant.