l-r: PMNA Communications Coordinator Jeanette McDermott, Province Leader Madeleine Munday, Councillor Marie Maurer, and Director of Good Shepherd National Advocacy Center Larry Couch dialogue at the LCWR Region X meeting.
LCWR Region X set a new pace in March when it invited Communicators and Justice Promoters to attend its spring meeting. The purpose of the Region X meeting of the Leadership Conference for Women Religious (LCWR) was for Sisters, Communicators and Justice Promoters to find ways to collaborate in promoting and strengthening social, economic and environmental justice ministries in their provinces and congregations.
LCWR Region X on the cutting edge
It was the first time all three groups had come together in a LCWR meeting. Participants spent time getting to know one another and discussing the wisdom of collaboration.
Dialogue focused on how Sisters, communicators and justice promoters can collaborate to build a greater justice peace movement that is integral to women religious and all Christians.
“We have to share the wisdom of the collaboration and work as a team to tell the stories,” Sr. Ann said.
“Our messages are refugees, contemplative lifestyle, human trafficking, domestic violence, addiction and more. Communicators say the words and tell the message through photos and video. They help leaders tell the stories,” she said.
The LCWR Region X gathering also centered on earth as our common home. Sr. Ann invited participants to consider what life looks like for those who live in this world. She cited such challenges as deep division by wealth, gender and education. She noted environmental degradation, income disparity and preventable death from treatable illnesses, access to water and toilets and equal opportunity for countries and their citizens. She spoke of violence and war.
“That said, we are not without hope. We are gathered here as witnesses to that hope. Breakdown doesn’t have to be the end. It can be the beginning of something new,” Sr. Ann said.
Table conversations revolved around a vision for the world. Participants discussed in their table groups what it means as Sisters, communicators and justice promoters to make our way through the wilderness, so that we may bring light into a world that is filled with danger and chaos. They grappled with such questions as What is God’s dream for our world? How do we find a new way of right relation with all of Creation? How do we create a world where wealth is measured not by what we have, but by what we give?
“At its core, Christianity is a religion of hope. Our life and ministries give expression to that hope. We are to be bold in our advocacy for justice and peace. Our light must shine. Those of us gifted with leadership are called to walk the edge — between what is and what is meant to be. We have to tell our stories,” Sr. Ann said.