“We come to today and the story of now, our hearts full of hopefulness, strong and fragile.

We welcome a future unknown, yet a dream and our Founders still lead, their lantern light beams!” 

–Fire to the Rock (hymn for morning ritual) Sister Miriam K. Martin, pbvm

Days 3 and 4 – Charity Federation Meeting – Saturday, June 16, and Sunday, June 17, 2012      

Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

 Liturgy of the Eucharist began Day 3, celebrated again with Father Kevin Barry. Following Mass, Sister Lois Jean Goettke, SC-C, planning committee member and chairperson for the day, made announcements.

Day 3 included the Charity Federation Business Meeting with a report by Sister Donna Geernaert, SC-H, Board president. She discussed the original 2008-2012 Strategic Plan and reviewed the process for development of the 2012-2017 Strategic Plan that was the focus of Sunday morning’s session.

 Sister Julie Cutter, DC, Executive Director, gave her report of the past year’s events and activities. Sister Mary Elizabeth Miller, SC-NJ, presented the Federation’s financial report and the projected budget for 2013. The Seton Heritage Ministries Board report was given by Sister Jane Iannucelli, SC-NY, Board chair. She complemented her remarks with a video of Seton Heritage Ministries’ staff highlighting their job responsibilities and experiences.

 During part of the afternoon, members of the Company of Charity Formation Personnel (CCFP) met separately in individual groups: vocation directors, initial formation leaders and associate directors. CCFP then rejoined the full group for questions/comments on the following Federation collaborative project reports: 1970s and Beyond, Federation Maritime Project, House of Charity, CCFP, Rendu House, Inc., Grassroots Involvement, Seton Writings and Charity Connections.

 A song by a local composer sent the group forth Saturday afternoon to enjoy a delightful cruise and supper on the St. John River. The journey included sighting of two eagles!

Members of the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception, Saint John, New Brunswick, led morning prayer and helped set the tone for Sunday’s meeting. Sister Anita Holmes, SCIC, Planning Committee chair and chairperson of the day, made announcements.

Sister Louise Gallahue, DC, Province of St. Louise, invited members of the Federation to collaborate in the Ascension Global Health Partnership Initiative. She shared a video about this effort intended to engage community leaders in developing countries to create integrated health care systems to serve their people.

 The remainder of the morning was spent in small group discussion and large group sharing about the proposed Strategic Plan for 2012-2017. Feedback from table discussion centered on the Assumptions, Preamble, Goals and Objectives of the plan. This feedback will be reviewed by the Federation Board during its Monday, June 18 meeting.

Participants then went into table discussion with their respective congregations to discuss the Strategic Plan and collaboration with the Federation. The assembly approved the draft Strategic Plan in principle.

 “Good news” opened the afternoon with congregations sharing updates, highlights and major developments within their communities. Sister Julie acknowledged the many persons associated with the Sisters of Charity of Immaculate Conception, including local Associates and friends, who assisted with the meeting proceedings, liturgies, communications, entertainment and environment. Sister Anita, assisted by Sister Peg Johnson, SC-L, member of the Planning Committee, and Sister Maryanne Ruzzo, SC-H, presented tokens of appreciation to several persons.

 The Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth contingent – with a special appearance by Foundress Mother Xavier Ross (aka Sister Maureen Hall, SC-L) – use song and their congregation’s story to invite leadership to Leavenworth, Kansas, for the 2013 Charity Federation meeting.

The day and the meeting closed with celebration of the liturgy with Father Bill Brennan, pastor, St. Dunstan’s Parish, Fredericton, followed by a banquet.

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