LCWR 2018

Q & A with Sr. Jayne Helmlinger, new president-elect of Leadership Conference of Women Religious

At LCWR's 2018 annual assembly, St. Joseph Sr. Jayne Helmlinger became president-elect. Speaking with GSR, Helmlinger said that while in leadership, she'll combine her community's charism — "Unity in Reconciliation" — with her "ability to think systemically." She told GSR she is eager to connect LCWR with the rest of the world and reimagine the conference to fit a globalized future.

'Clout that comes with sisterhood': final notes from the 2018 LCWR assembly

GSR Today - The four days the Leadership Conference of Women Religious spent in St. Louis included a discussion of how to abolish the death penalty, reflections on diversity and asking hard questions about racist pasts, and a fidget spinner. Here are some more snippets we couldn't include in our full coverage of the assembly.

Sr. Anita Baird oversaw changes in church structures that reinforced racism

Women religious exist to seek justice as the light of Christ in a world of darkness, Sr. Anita Baird told those gathered for the Leadership Conference of Women Religious' annual assembly Aug. 10 as she received their 2018 Outstanding Leadership Award. "As the first African-American to receive this leadership award, you honor not only me, but every African-American woman religious as you bear witness to the fact that black religious life matters," she said. "It took until 1979 until the bishops finally acknowledged racism as a sin," Baird told GSR. "You've got to address systems and processes and policies." 

LCWR wraps up assembly with reflection on the Trinity and diversity

On the final day of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious assembly Aug. 10, sisters explored the diversity within the image of God and lessons for religious life, marched to the Old Courthouse in St. Louis and bore witness against systemic racism, and honored Daughter of the Heart of Mary Sr. Anita Baird, the first black recipient of LCWR's Outstanding Leadership Award.

LCWR assembly reaffirms commitment to addressing 'the sin of racism'

"In the presence of constant and painful reminders of the deep roots of racism in our country, [LCWR pledges] to go deeper into the critical work of creating communion, examining the root causes of injustice and our own complicity, and purging ourselves, our communities, and our country of the sin of racism and its destructive effects."

Sr. Teresa Maya challenges LCWR assembly to go forth amid changing times

In her presidential address at the Leadership Conference of Women Religious assembly, Sister of Charity of the Incarnate Word Teresa Maya told attendees a " 'change of epoch' is upon us in full force." She specified sisters' challenges — leading as a community regardless of numbers, working with younger sisters and confronting institutional racism — and instructed them to reach beyond with "eyes of faith."