Dear Sisters and Friends of Giving Voice,
We hope you are able to enjoy the summer weather. Giving Voice continues to grow and to flourish, and there is a great deal of energy in our network of sisters. We are steadily increasing in number, and we continue to encourage relationships for younger sisters across congregations. Thanks to your generous support, younger sisters across the country – as well as countries outside the U.S. – are able to connect with each other, grow in our faith, and reflect together on our call to religious life.
This year has been an exciting one! With the reception of our generous grant from the Conrad Hilton Foundation in 2014, we have been able to improve communication and create some new initiatives in our organization in 2015. Highlights of the year include:
- In April 2015, thanks to the Hilton Grant, our website was updated with a new look and is now bilingual! We are in the process of researching more features to improve our website communication.
- We welcomed two core team members and three core team members completed their terms in August 2015. Thank you Sarah Kohles, Jeannie Humphries, and Leslie Keener! Welcome to Chero Chuma and Jessi Beck!
- In June 2015, the Hilton Grant made it possible for us to purchase translation equipment. At our 2015 National Gathering in Kansas the translation equipment proved to be of great value to us in providing translation in English and Spanish. Sisters were able to speak and share in their first language, enriching the conversation for everyone. Please contact us if you have a sister who would benefit from translation.
- On August 6-9, in Kansas City, Kansas, we hosted our 2015 National Gathering for sisters under fifty years old: Crossing Boundaries in Religious Life. Speakers were Sisters Tere Maya, CCVI and Sophia Park, SNJM, Ph.D
- Our grant made it possible for us to contract with Plante Moran for strategic planning and development for the next few years. Strategic planning began at the 2015 National Gathering and continued through the fall of 2015 by engaging many GV sisters through a series of conference calls.
- In January of 2016, we hosted our annual retreat for women religious in their 20s and 30s in Phoenix, Arizona. The theme was Contemplating the Mystery of Mercy.
- On May 6-8, 18 sisters from across the U.S. gathered in St. Louis to learn and practice PeerSpirit Circle Process. They take the skills learned into future events for Giving Voice, communities and ministries.
- Juliet Mousseau, RSCJ represented Giving Voice in Rome at the Assembly of the International Union of Superiors General Assembly: Weaving Global Solidarity for Life. Juliet was part of a panel discussing the realities of religious life today and hopes for the future.
- This summer, August 5-7, in Federal Way, WA, we will host our second retreat for sisters in their 40s. The retreat theme will be Emerging and Empowering: Mercy as a Lens for Leadership.
In addition to these specific highlights, Giving Voice continues to reach out through our monthly e-newsletter, an interactive Facebook closed group and public page, and periodic conference calls. Giving Voice also networks with leadership, vocation, and formation personnel. These relationships help us to engage in larger conversations about religious life and are deeply enriching.
As you can see, this has been an exciting year for us! The Hilton Grant has given us opportunities to take on new initiatives. But, we continue to need the generous support of congregations for our operating budget to continue ongoing programs that are not new initiatives. Our ability to present ways for younger sisters to connect with each other would not be possible without you. With grateful hearts, we humbly ask for your continued support through prayer and financial contribution. Enclosed with this letter you will find a 2016 Giving Voice Support Membership form (click here).
Please note that checks can now be made payable to Giving Voice because of our official status as a non-profit organization.
With Deep Gratitude,
Jessi Beck, PBVM, Chero Chuma, CSJP, Rejane Cytacki, SCL, Priscilla Torres, OP, Nicole Trahan, FMI