The Catholic Messenger
CLINTON — The Sisters of St. Francis recently reaffirmed their mission of living and promoting active nonviolence and peacemaking and their charism of ongoing conversion.
The reaffirmation took place during the community’s quadrennial Chapter May 10-14. The community describes Chapter as a time when sisters and others come together to have deep conversations about their life, mission and future. Sister Catherine Bertrand, a member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, facilitated.
During Chapter, the community set direction for the next four years. They committed to supporting the future of the Franciscan Peace Center, building and maintaining relationships and collaborations, creating sacred spaces for reconciliation and repair of harm, exploring the emerging future of religious life, and strengthening their corporate stands. The death penalty, nuclear disarmament, immigration reform, human trafficking, care of creation, basic human rights and income inequality are areas in which the community has taken corporate stands.
The Chapter also affirmed a statement in response to racial injustice, issued in June 2020, that pledged listening to the experience and wisdom of people of color and learning about racism in all its dimensions (systemic, institutional, and cultural). Furthermore, the community will work in solidarity with people of color for radical reforms to racialized systems and recommit to nonviolence as the way to effect systemic, societal and personal change.
A livestreamed concert by singer/songwriter Sara Thomsen on May 12 celebrated 2016-2021 leadership team members Sisters Janice Cebula, Marilyn Huegerich and Kathleen Holland and the community’s commitment to the mission of living and promoting active nonviolence and peacemaking.
The community announced its 2021-2025 leadership team on May 14: Sister Janice Cebula, president; Sister Marilyn Huegerich, vice president; and Sister Ruth E. Westmoreland, councilor. The new leadership team will be installed later.