El Salvador: Remembering, Sharing, Pondering Next Steps...
The gift you have received, give as gift.” [Mt. 10:8] It was in this spirit that seven Boston CSJs and Associates reflected on their experience as part of the 2015 SHARE/LCWR El Salvador Delegation for the 35th anniversary of the assassination of four U.S. Catholic church women. On February 16, 2016, they offered simple reflections in our Motherhouse Chapel. In addition to the 70+ sisters and associates who were present, many more tuned in via streaming video. This presentation can be viewed through our intranet.
A feature article about this experience is planned for our next issue of “the MORE...” magazine. It will include reflections from our CSJs and Associates and four other Boston-area participants in this delegation. In the meantime, we continue to ponder our next steps of accompaniment on this journey of faith and solidarity which is far from over.
Called to Be Christ’s Leaven
by Kathie Shute, CSJA
Betsy Conway, CSJ, Barbara McHugh, CSJ, and Pat Quinn, CSJ, received a warm, enthusiastic welcome as they shared their reflection, "Called to Be Christ's Leaven," with sisters and associates at the February 13, 2016 associate gathering.
Introducing the context, Barbara gave an overview of leadership programs in which they have participated; these include Weekend in the Hamptons, a meeting of younger sisters in Hampton Bay, New York, and Leaders as Leaven, a year-long program fostering leadership development for members under the age of 62.
In the spirit of Maxim 73, "...to be always what God wants you to be ...," Betsy spoke of the challenges of leadership, observing that, "You can be afraid and brave at the same time...let the spirit fire flare up in you... walk towards trouble!" She described elements of the Leadership Circle, reflecting on the wisdom of adopting a creative response to leadership - our God-energy moving forward and in relationship with others - rather than a reactive response - coming from a wounded place, a place of fear.
Pat shared the excitement and energy she experienced – God's energy. She spoke of a web of new relationships, of new friendships and stories, of interconnectedness, and of the challenges of leadership: how to get all people involved; how to tap into their wisdom and knowledge. She pondered key questions and offered her own responses: "Who did you learn to be? Who are you called to be now? Compassionate women of God! Leaders as leaven!"
In capturing the essence of her experiences, Barbara revealed, ". . . the leadership programs made my heart sing!" She emphasized that, "Each of you is a leader. We are all leaders," and she reminded us that true leadership is about service to others and about listening well. It is about delegating responsibilities, sharing decisions, and affirming that, "Each person holds a piece of the truth."
We offer our appreciation and gratitude to Sisters Betsy, Barbara, and Pat for their message of courage and hope, and their invitation to reflect: "From wherever you stand, in what ways are you called to lead?