The Province of Mid-North America has dreamed for years of how we will move things forward toward success for the mission. The new Province Leadership Team (PLT) is in place, and they know that a dream of a better province begins with them and each of us. The PLT is excited about what we can accomplish together if we work hard and stay positive. After years of preparation in the province, it is time for a change. Each member of the PLT shares her dream for the province.
Madeleine Munday, RGS
I dream that we are fostering and experiencing community at every level, bringing to life the dreams we gathered in our 2021 Province Direction Statement to forward the mission of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd and witness to God’s merciful love. This dream includes uniting with the global directions of the 2021 Congregational Chapter.
Claudia Palacio, RGS
My dream for the Province is that through using the lens of gratitude, we will build on the richness that we already possess — living diversity, equality, and inclusion in a way that make us visible signs of the love of God and the presence of His reign in our wounded world. For me, diversity, equality, and inclusion are values rooted in our Christian tradition.
The first Christian communities constantly stretched themselves to practice such values in their daily life and the celebration of the Eucharist.
Today, I feel called, by the events experienced in our world and by the Congregation’s movement to transformation, to deepen the meaning and the practice of diversity, equality, and inclusion to build up just and wholesome systems and societies while upholding the dignity of the person.
Gayle Lwanga, RGS
When I consider my one dream for the province, I realize that this is a huge undertaking as I have many dreams for our province.
Perhaps I could approach it like the Enneagram; I could have a dominant dream with a couple of wing dreams. Or would an arachnid be the best analogy, one dream with eight other “leggy” dreams? Yes, I think the arachnid analogy offers the best way to express my dream, in order not to be boxed in too much.
Overall, I dream that we are excited about the future and that all of us feel included, not just the leadership but all Mission Partners (sisters and lay). I dream that we will move forward together planning and designing a future of hope for the people of God.
After six years on the National Religious Vocation Conference Board, I remain hopeful that God still calls, and that He is calling women to be a part of Good Shepherd’s vowed religious life. Let us spend some time planning a way to receive them that is a life-giving process.
We need a process that allows for growth and acceptance, in the same way that we were received and allowed to grow into this big wonderful call that Jesus the Good Shepherd invited us to share when we gave our lives to God.
I am not leaving out our lay mission partners. Let us go forward together spiritually. They have gifts to share, and we must be open to receiving them, and to be taught as well as to teach.
Mary Carol McClenon, RGS
I’m not much of a visionary or dreamer, so I will focus on one very practical desire, which is for Sisters in the three provinces of North America to get to know each other a little bit more. I see this as flowing from our Direction Statement call to “Work together to develop a vision for Good Shepherd North America.”
It’s hard enough to develop a common vision under the best of circumstances, but not feeling familiar and comfortable with the Sisters makes it even more difficult. The three PLTs have been meeting together and collaborating more and more during the recent past. That’s a good beginning, but it only encompasses 30 or so people. It hasn’t reached down into the rank and file of ordinary life.
I have had the unusual privilege of serving several times as the Recording Secretary for New York/Toronto Chapters and Assemblies, as well as having enjoyed week-long visits in Carrollton on multiple occasions.
It means a lot to me to recognize the names and faces of Sisters from the other provinces, but I still don’t feel like I can say I know them – and I’m probably a little ahead of the curve, so we have a lot of work yet to do!
I don’t know whether it would be practical to create a North American expansion of our Items of Interest, though I would like to see that. At a minimum, I’d like to see a much broader exchange of our respective province news updates, newsletters, obituaries, program news, and stuff in general. I’m also hoping to organize some inter-province small group Zoom socials and faith-sharing.
Elizabeth Garciano, RGS
As I reflect on our Province Direction Statement, I dream that we act fully on the vow of zeal in our journey of radical transformation. My dream for the contemplatives is that we live and pray for the salvation of persons, especially those served by the Congregation. I dream that we embrace unconditionally all who need the mercy and compassion of Jesus the Good Shepherd.
Christine Truong, RGS
I dream of becoming a province where our listening, faith-sharing, and prayers demonstrate our hospitality to ministry clients, parishioners, friends, and anyone else we come in contact with.
Barbara Beasley, RGS
My dream for the Province of Mid-North America is that each one of us is a bearer of the Mission. I dream that all of us — of all ages, capacities, talents, and histories — appreciate, know, support, and affirm one another. I dream that we are willing to learn together. I dream that we are generative and affirming of present and new life for the furtherance of the mission.
Sharon Rose Authorson, RGS
“At such a time as this” (Esther 3:14). This is a unique time in the spiritual growth of our Congregation and Province. We are being gifted with a treasury of resources. I dream that we use the material presented to us in our Province Direction Statement and in all that our Congregational Chapter will be offering to us.
I dream that everything we do, whether in ministry or prayer, will have the focus of Mission and that we never lose sight of our global realities.
I hope that we will continue to use Contemplative Dialogue in our sharing with one another. A line that we reflected on in our Chapter of Affairs said “Never lose sight of our basis for justice being Jesus and His values.”
This could be applied not only to justice but to all that we do for the “Glory of God and the Salvation of Souls.” Then we will surely be on our way to radical transformation.
2021 PMNA Direction Statement
We are partners-in-mission – sisters and lay – co-responsible and working collaboratively to forward the mission of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd. Zeal for the mission impels us to witness to the merciful love of God. It unites us and inspires us to bring hope to our sisters and brothers of all colors, cultures, and creeds. Our love should awaken in them a sense of their worth and dignity as children of God. At the same time, we are aware that we receive mercy from them … Care for our common home is essential to our call.
At such a time as this (Esther 3:14), we are keenly aware of the pain of deep relational division in our country, world, and church. The great disparities in healthcare, housing, food security, employment and the rampant discrimination against marginalized persons and groups, as well as humanity’s deep spiritual longing, compel us to respond. We are called to a radical transformation of heart, mind, and lifestyle. As partners-in-mission, we commit to:
- Personal and communal formation for mission for all.
- Acknowledge and address racism within ourselves, in our structures, and in the wider social context.
- Take action to address the root causes of injustice in order to restore respect, promote equal opportunity for all, and bring healing to creation.
- Collaborate within our Congregation and with other congregations/organizations to amplify our voice for social justice, broaden the impact of our ministries, and encourage new opportunities for service.
- Work together to develop a vision for Good Shepherd North America.
- Strengthen inclusive, relational, and spiritual leadership that draws on the wisdom of all.
- Support those discerning their call to religious life and accompany them on a path forward.
We go forward with trust in the Spirit of the Good Shepherd, Zeal, and the power of prayer.