By Sister Kati Hamm
This month’s theme engages us with the theme of transition. Two hundred faces stretched out over eight pages on Zoom – well wishers, companions on the journey, Sisters, Associates, family, friends and colleagues marked the Transfer of Leadership Ritual which blesses our lives every 6 years. We heard together the challenge to be attentive to the voice of grace. Sister Margaret Mary Fitzpatrick, our new congregational leader, also reminded us that now is the time to let our love which cannot be contained move us to act.
One Sister describing the ritual on Zoom wrote later that “the picture collage knocked me out. What a paradox, that although “in person” is the default preference, the virtual connection over countries, time zones and even languages was a wonderful experience. Indeed, we are touching on the future.” It was a wonderful expression of the refrain of the closing song: We are one. One human family. One Earth community. One common destiny.
This issue begins with short bios of the members of the new Congregational Leadership Team each of whom who begins a new phase of her ministry of leading and loving. In the section on Celebrating Nonagenarians we find women over 95 who have continuously evolved over their seven decades of service and community within the congregation. Another nod to transition going on in the US is the vigorous calling forth of volunteers so that we could hold a safe and secure 2020 election in the midst of a pandemic. Among those who responded, two of our sisters from Resurrection-Ascension who were assigned to be Poll Workers in Maspeth, Queens. Next Sister Phyllis Giroux tells us about her labor of love completed in a research project for the Diocese of Nelson in British Columbia. She conceived the idea to catalogue every religious congregation and sister who had been missioned in that diocese and create a display to honor and remember them. Finally our story from the archives reminds us of a transfer of leadership 24 years ago. Sister Mary Louise Brink’s words spoken then are not that different from Sister Margaret Mary’s words today: “The fires that have been preserved for us and by us are not given to us for ourselves. They are for all those in our world who need the joyful witness to love that we profess to bring.”