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August 25, 2022, St. Louis, Missouri – As Sister Elise García, OP, completed her three-year leadership commitment to the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), Executive Director Sister Carol Zinn, SSJ, praised her for the extraordinary spirit she brought to the organization during the challenging times of COVID-19 and other global crises. She described Sister Elise as a “manifestation of global sisterhood” with “an incredible capacity to create integrative partnerships, and clearly the Gospel message in the public square is what your life is about.”
The words of praise came during the LCWR’s general assembly, held August 9-12, 2022, in St. Louis, Missouri. This was the first time since the pandemic that the annual assembly was held in person.
Sister Elise, a General Councilor for the Adrian Dominican Sisters, was elected President-elect of the LCWR during the 2019 general assembly in Scottsdale, Arizona. She served as President-Elect, 2019-2020; President, 2020-2021; and Past President, 2021-2022. Before her election, she served on the LCWR National Board.
The LCWR is comprised of the elected leadership of Catholic Sisters, representing about 80% of women religious in the United States.
Sister Elise was elected to the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ General Council during its General Chapter in 2016. During the 2022 General Chapter held in late June, she was elected to serve as Prioress, succeeding Sister Patricia Siemen, OP. Sister Elise and the newly elected General Council – Sisters Lorraine Réaume, OP, Vicaress and General Councilor, and Sisters Janice Brown, OP, Bibiana “Bless” Colasito, OP, and Corinne Sanders, OP – will take office on October 8, 2022.
Read the full article about the 2022 LCWR general assembly, written by Soli Salgado and published by the National Catholic Reporter’s Global Sisters Report.
May 18, 2022, Adrian, Michigan – As members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), we Adrian Dominican Sisters strongly support this statement deploring the racial hatred and gun violence that led to the devastating loss of life in Buffalo, New York, with the mass shooting of May 14, 2022. The LCWR statement follows.
Our hearts are breaking as we once again come face to face with the racial hatred and gun violence that infect our land. The members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious extend their condolences to the Buffalo community and all who lost loved ones, friends, and neighbors and we say once more violence and white supremacy cannot stand. And we know that is not enough!
Racism is a virus, every bit as deadly as COVID-19, that has infected our nation since its inception and until we address it, people of color will continue to die, and our nation will continue to bleed. Racism, whether the institutional racism which privileges some at the expense of others or the daily acts of hate and discrimination, diminishes us all. It denies that most profound truth, that all of us are created in God’s image and each of us is entitled to lives of dignity and respect.
As women religious in a predominantly white organization, we recognize how we have been privileged. We lament our silence in the face of white supremacist ideology, and we acknowledge our complicity in institutional racism. We ask forgiveness of our sisters and brothers of color, and we pray for our nation’s healing. And we know that is not enough!
It is time for bold, decisive action. We pledge to raise our voices and to act to end the violence and white supremacy which has cost us dearly. In the wake of the horror of Buffalo, we rededicate ourselves to LCWR’s commitment to dismantle systemic racism and white privilege and effect transformative change in our hearts, our organization, and our society and we pledge anew to build God’s beloved community. We will not permit that violence and white supremacy to stand!
LCWR is an association of leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States. The conference has nearly 1,300 members, who represent more than 38,800 women religious in the United States. Founded in 1956, LCWR assists its members to collaboratively carry out their service of leadership to further the mission of the Gospel in today’s world.