[St. Louis, Missouri] The president and two prioresses of the Monastic Congregation of St. Benedict attended the 2022 national assembly of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in St. Louis, MO, August 9-12. Sister Nancy Bauer, MCSB president, Sister Susan Rudolph, prioress of Saint Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, MN, and Sister Nicole Kunze, prioress of Annunciation Monastery, Bismarck, ND, were among the 700 women religious who participated in the first in-person LCWR assembly since 2019.
The theme of the gathering was “Mystical Wisdom: Following the Spirit’s Beckoning.” Theologians Sister Constance FitzGerald, OCD and Dr. M. Shawn Copeland launched the exploration of mystical wisdom for these challenging times in a set of two conversations.
Other highlights of the assembly included the LCWR members’ three-year recommitment to an assembly resolution to use their collective voice, resources, and influence to establish justice at the intersection of racism, forced migration, and the climate crisis.
During the assembly the members elected new leadership for the organization. Sister Maureen Geary, OP, a councilor of the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Dominicans, was selected as the president-elect. She joins Sister Rebecca Ann Gemma, OP, who will serve as president for 2022-23, and Sister Jane Herb, IHM, who will serve as immediate past-president. Elected to the national board were Sisters Laura Bregar, OSU; Nkechi Iwuoha, PHJC; Patty Johnson, CSJ; and Sean Peters, CSJ.
The Outstanding Leadership Award honored 2020 recipient Sister Patty Chappell, SNDdeN, past president of the National Black Sisters Conference and current leader of her community; and 2022 recipient Sister Pat Murray, IBVM, current director of the International Union of Superiors General.
Recordings of the LCWR presidential address, the two conversations between Sister Constance and Dr. Copeland, and the tributes to and responses from Sister Patty and Sister Pat as well as some of the printed texts of presentations are available now on the LCWR website. The website also has a four-minute video and photographs of assembly activities and participants.
The three participants from the Monastic Congregation of St. Benedict enjoyed an evening with prioresses in attendance from the Monastic Congregation of St. Scholastica and the Federation of St. Gertrude.