Core Team Updates

The Giving Voice core team held its annual in-person February 15-17 meeting just outside of Seattle, Washington. Thank you to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace and Sisters of Providence for the use of their retreat houses! They provided a beautiful setting for the work of evaluation, long-term planning, and direction setting. One big agenda item this year was strategizing next steps for implementing initiatives with the remaining Hilton grant funds. Leadership development, diversity & inclusion work, communication, and sustainability are top priorities. We are grateful to Chanin Kelly Rae, Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Providence Health, for guiding our conversation around diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Giving Voice is very grateful to have been invited to take part in the recent LCWR Emergent Planning Process. In January, several Giving Voice participants were invited by the LCWR committee to take part in focus group conversations. In February, Adriana Calzada, CCVI and Desiré Anne-Marie Findlay, CSSF represented Giving Voice as invited guests at the LCWR Emergent Planning Process along with guests from several other organizations who serve women religious. This process is an effort to gain input from diverse perspectives while discerning how women’s religious life can best respond to the current realities of the world and religious life today.

Giving Voice is a peer network operating within a model of shared leadership; participants are encouraged to share their gifts for the good of the whole. The Giving Voice core team meets monthly via Zoom to tend to the ongoing direction and management of the organization. Thanks to funding from the Hilton grant, we have a full-time communication coordinator/administrative assistant. Sophie Vodvarka is a fantastic addition and works from the Giving Voice national office located at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. Several grant initiatives are going strong! Twenty-five sisters have been awarded Leadership Initiative Scholarships for language or leadership skill development. Thank you to our wonderful scholarship committee: Sarah Cieplinksi, Sheena George, and Nicole Reich for reviewing the applications! Our strategic planning process identified several recommendations to boost communication. Thank you to our communications working group: Renee Kettering, Desiré Findlay, Ana Gonzalez, and Joni Luna for moving these initiatives forward! The upcoming National Gathering is being planned by co-chairs Mary Perez and Julia Walsh along with committee members Clare Bass, Mumbi Kigutha, Kathryn Press, and Lisa Perkowski. These amazing women have great things planned. You won’t want to miss it. Register today!

We continue to hear loud and clear from our participants, consultants, and supporting communities the value of Giving Voice for the sisters who participate and the emerging future of religious life. Thank you, in advance, for your continuing support of the organization and the exciting endeavors born in the hearts of participants for the sake of the Gospel.