Dear CWR Friends:

In the interest of keeping you informed, the CWR Board of Directors shares highlights of our monthly meetings. The Board held a three day, in-person meeting from Tuesday, Feb. 3 through Thursday, Feb. 5, at the Canossian Spirituality Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. View video from the meeting

Here is an overview of the meeting:

January 13, 2015 Board videoconference meeting minutes were approved.

A new Board member orientation was conducted for Kathy Gatliff and Kate Martin, who were elected at the annual Conference in Long Beach, California. The Board expressed thanks for their willingness to serve.

Hilton Grant Study Committee Chair Julie Gilberto-Brady gave a history of the communications between CWR and the Conrad Hilton Foundation that lead to seeking and acquiring the Hilton grant.

Chair Eileen Dickerson gave the Executive Team report. CWR’s accomplishments for 2014 were noted:

  • Organizational name change accomplished
  • New logo designed and launched
  • Website redesigned and launched
  • Acquisition of the Hilton grant for a study on capacity building for CWR

Eileen also reviewed a summary of the responses from the annual Board self-evaluation survey.

Coordinator Susan Oxley presented a report of her activities from October to January and informed the Board that CWR membership is showing continual growth.

Committee Chairs shared their reports.

  • Marketing Committee Co-Chair Jennifer Kaminski presented a new member recruitment brochure, which will be printed and ready for distribution in March.
  • Communications Committee Chair Stephanie Manseau said that the Committee will refocus and refine the committee’s role.
  • Finance Committee Chair and CWR Treasurer Sister Beth Kress presented an update of CWR’s financial picture, which is stable and within budget.
  • Membership Committee Chair Paula Schultz reported that the committee will continue to work under the guidelines of the goals set for this final year of the current strategic plan.
  • Conference 2015 Committee Co-Chair Stephanie Hall shared the results of the Conference Committee’s recent survey. She said that members’ input will be considered in the planning for the conference.
  • Conference 2016 Committee Co-Chair Kathy Gatliff said she will be contacting those members who expressed an interest in serving on that committee.

The Board is grateful to the many CWR members who have volunteered to serve on committees. Thank you!!!!

We spent Wednesday, Feb. 4 in dialogue with representatives from American City Bureau, Leslie Mollson (CEO) and Carl Meirose, Senior Consultant. ACB will conduct a study and organizational audit to help in the construction of a new strategic plan for CWR. This study is funded by the Conrad Hilton Foundation grant that CWR received.

CWR is the only organization of its kind serving communicators for women religious, and members realize that they are in a unique position to assist the unfolding future of women religious. When completed, this project will provide us with the clear direction to move forward and expand our reach, empowering our organization to grow in its influence in the promotion of women religious and be an even greater resource to organizations that serve women religious, as well as individual congregations of women religious.

ACB presented a schedule for the study, which includes 5 in-person focus groups, videoconference focus groups and a member survey. The Board will share more information in the coming weeks and looks forward to the participation of all members.

Sister Annmarie Sanders, IHM, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) liaison to the CWR Board presented a report. She highlighted two publications, I Will Give You Treasures in the Darkness, short reflections by LCWR members on the dark experiences of their lives and Transformational Leadership: Conversations with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, a collection of interviews on leadership and spiritual life.

She also discussed two LCWR initiatives: LCWR Call 2015-2022, to help shape and support religious life as it moves into the future and Office of Transitional Services for congregations whose ministerial activities may be coming to completion.

Sister Annmarie reported that, for the duration of the Year of Consecrated Life, LCWR is responsible for making available materials for posting the USCCB’s Facebook page and Instagram and Twitter accounts. She said that CWR members have been assisting in collecting, selecting and editing submissions for this project. The annual LCWR Assembly will take place in Houston, Texas, Aug. 11-15.

The Board read a report from National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC) liaison Carol Shuck Scheiber, who was unable to attend the meeting. Her report listed Year of Consecrated Life resources available on the NRVC website, information on the National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations(NFCRV) efforts to establish a formation fund and VISION magazine’s request for good quality photos of people in contemporary religious life.

In anticipation of CWR Conference 2015 in Albuquerque, Board members toured the Hyatt Regency Hotel–site of the conference–and spoke with CWR’s conference contact person as well as the hotel’s general manager. Board members were impressed with the Hyatt’s meeting space and guest accommodations, as well as the staff’s friendliness and enthusiasm.

The Board expressed appreciation to our hosts, the Canossian Sisters, for their warm welcome and hospitality with a thank you card, signed by all members, and a pot of flower seeds, planted in soil from the Center’s grounds.

The Board especially wishes to thank Jennifer Kaminski for creating a prayer program for the meeting that was deeply meaningful and inspiring and evocative of nature and our Southwest locale. A member of her congregation, Sister Mary Matthias Ward, OSU, compiled the prayer. Sister Mary Matthias is among the many Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph who have ministered in New Mexico since 1919. Board member Sister Beth Kress also gave generous assistance with the prayer program.

CWR Board of Directors
Eileen Dickerson, Chair
Sister Angela Szczawinska, CSFN, Co-Chair
Sister Beth Kress, PVBM, Treasurer
Paulette Gardner, SSA
Kathy Gatliff
Julie Gilberto Brady
Stephanie Hall
Jennifer Kaminski
Stephanie Manseau
Kate Martin
Paula Schultz

“Please remember that the benefits you receive as a member of CWR are made possible by an ALL VOLUNTEER Board. CWR can thrive and grow as long as our members volunteer their gifts through Board service.”