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Bridges, February 28, 2021

FOLLOW-UP TO ASSEMBLY COMMITMENTS: Where Are We Now?

We pledge “to work with passion for the commitments we now make….”

While winter weather and the on-going pandemic have put restrictions on implementing the commitments of the Province Assembly, a combination of enthusiasm, creativity and technology has proved effective in finding a way forward.  At the invitation of the Provincial Leadership Team, the chairpersons of three committees met for the second time on February 23rd to share the work of their respective groups, in an exchange that all agreed was energizing and encouraging.  Given below is a very brief summary of what each one shared, with a promise of more to come. Each committee is looking toward a fuller sharing at the May Province Assembly.

We pledge to care for Our Common Home….” –Assembly Commitment Statement

Sr. Teresita Morse, chairperson of the Care for Creation Committee, reported on what her committee has done.  One element of this commitment is the exploration of ideas for the land in Highland Mills as a possible site for environmental education, ecological gardening, etc.  In view of this, the ‘core committee’ of RJM has invited others to join them.  These ‘companions in mission’ are persons knowledgeable and experienced in environmental studies, property, ecological education, etc.  A room in the former spirituality center is being prepared as a meeting place and resource center with print and media materials available.  Recent issues of BRIDGES have reflected another aspect of the committee’s work, namely, eliminating single use plastics.  Committee members Srs. Doris Bissonnette and Diane Dube have published useful information and suggestions.

We pledge “to direct more financial resources to mission, especially those that serve the vulnerable and poor….”  –Assembly Commitment Statement     

The Shared Resources Committee, chaired by Sr. Rosemary Nicholson, has been meeting to follow up on the Province Assembly Commitment to evaluate our province resources for the purpose of directing more financial resources to our mission serving ‘the most vulnerable and poor, especially women and children’.  Sr. Rosie reported that on Saturday, Feb. 20 the committee met with Sr. Hertha Longo, CSA, who presented her analysis of the TRENDS 2020 report.  Sr. Hertha went through the following topics and allowed time for questions: census projection, financial projection and past service liability calculation (what is needed today to care for the projected retirement needs of all members).

As all of this was reviewed, Sr. Hertha commended the province for how well it has prepared for the future throughout these past years.  Committee members expressed gratitude for the wise administration of provincial governments as well as the efforts in ‘simple living’ on the part of all RJMs.  Sr. Hertha’s well-documented conclusions showed clearly that the province has the resources to meet the projected retirement needs of all members and to begin to increase the sharing of resources for ministry needs both within our province and beyond, in a response as “one apostolic body” to the call of our JM Preferences.  Committee members are continuing to work with the TRENDS data in order to make the projections and conclusions as accurate as possible.  A full report will be given at the 2nd session of the Province Assembly, when it is our hope that Sr. Hertha will be able to join us in presenting the findings in TRENDS.

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