New Leaders: The new Leadership
Team will begin their four-year term in June. They are, from left,
Sister Donna Koch, Community President-Elect; Sister Nancy
Langlois, First Vice President-Elect; and Sister Ann Rehrauer,
Second Vice President-Elect.
by Sister Mary Kabat
A General Chapter is a collegial assembly which exercises the
highest authority in a religious community. It is held to
elect the community leadership and make decisions for the
community's life and ministry. Held every four years, our
General Chapter has two parts: the Chapter of Elections and the
Chapter of Affairs.
The theme for our Chapter of Elections is expressed in the words
of St. Clare of Assisi. In her letter to Agnes of Prague, St.
Clare invited Agnes to gaze upon, consider, contemplate and imitate
our Lord Jesus.
Nov. 17, 2012 -- Gaze: Our discernment process
for the Chapter of Elections officially began Nov. 17, 2012.
We gathered with our facilitator, Sister Marlene Weinsenbeck, a
Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration in La Crosse. Our
focus was to Gaze. Our day opened with Mass celebrated by
Abbot Gary Neville, O. Praem. We sang David Haas' Send Us
Your Spirit, ("Come to us, Spirit of God, breathe in us now,…
Spirit of hope and of light, fill our lives.")
Sister Marlene led us through the essential elements of
Franciscan discernment: an attitude of humble servanthood, an
awareness of one's personal poverty and an awareness that one is in
a world much bigger than oneself. Our Leadership Team of
Sister Donna Koch, President; Sister Sally Ann Brickner, Vice
President; and Sister Jane Riha, Vice President; shared their
experience of serving the Community these past years.
We were sent to continue the discernment and nomination process
in a spirit of prayerfulness, humility, freedom and
detachment. We submitted nomination forms inviting Sisters to
consider serving the Community in the next four years and stated
the qualities for leadership that we see them living out in
community life and ministry.
Jan. 11, 2013 - Consider: Our time to Consider,
pray and discern together continued on Friday with our facilitator,
Sister Marlene Weinsenbeck.
Jan. 12, 2013 - Contemplate: The Rev. Steve
Vanden Boogard, O. Praem., celebrated Mass. Open to
Contemplate, we prayed, discerned, and conversed throughout the
day, and concluded with Eucharistic Adoration.
Jan. 13, 2013 - Imitate: Desiring to Imitate
Christ in all we do and decide together, Sunday morning we gathered
in our Motherhouse Chapel for the election of our Leadership Team.
The Most Rev. David Ricken, our diocesan bishop, presided over the
election. He will install the newly elected Leadership Team during
a special ceremony on June 20.
The Comunity's Chapter of Affairs will be June 10 to 13.
This story originally appeared in the Sisters' newsletter.
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