For the third year in a row, the Leadership Conference of Woman Religious (LCWR) invited Giving Voice to attend its National Assembly as a guest. For the second year in a row the assembly was virtual. Approximately 30 Giving Voice sisters participated in this year’s Assembly as guest, congregational leader, exhibitor, or a combination of these three. Here is one sister’s reflection on her experience this year.
Hello! I am S. Réjane Cytacki, SCL. I was blessed to attend the LCWR virtual 2021 Assembly as a guest for Giving Voice and an exhibitor for A Nun’s Life, my new ministry. I was very impressed by the quality of the keynote speakers and the depth of the conversations in the small group breakout sessions. The use of technology also expanded the number of participants, consciously and affordably including those associated with or in religious life but not serving in leadership. Some of those participants were from Black Catholic Sisters Conference, ALMA, and Nuns and Nones. I truly hope that LCWR continues to include these necessary voices at the tables of future assemblies and regional meetings.
After watching the role play of a leadership team discuss collaboration I was left with a couple of questions. How do we include the voices of diversity around our decision-making congregational leadership tables? How do experienced leaders step back and give up some of their talking space, so that the lesser heard voices can step up and speak up? This was such a rich conference with many points to ponder that will bear fruit into the future.
Sister Réjane Cytacki is a member of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth (SCL) and is the current executive director of A Nun's Life Ministry- . The mission is to help people discover and grow in their vocation by engaging questions about God, faith, and religious life. We do this by connecting Catholic sisters with a vibrant online community around finding meaning and joy in everyday life. Prior to joining A Nun's Life Ministry, she served as the executive director of the Racine Dominican Eco-Justice Center, and recently served on the Core Team for Giving Voice.