19 women religious communities chosen for site visits

by Thomas C. Fox

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Editor's note: NCR incorrectly reported April 1 a prayer and a list of 19 U.S. religious communities, chosen for site visits as part of a Vatican investigation, came from Apostolic Visitator Mother Mary Clare Millea. In fact, the communication came from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

According to a LCWR spokesperson, LCWR had invited congregations, singled out for visitations andwanting prayers for them during their visitations, to let the organization know so it could compile a list and share it privately with members.

NCR received the list from a source who had asked not to be identified and through a miscommunication incorrectly attributed the prayer and list to Millea. The list of 19 congregations, chosen for site visitations during the next two months, is correct but most likely incomplete.

We regret the inaccuracy and apologize for it.

Below is the corrected story.

--Tom Fox


NCR April 1 attributed a prayer for wisdom, patience, grace and courage along with a list of 19 women religious congregations as having come from Mother Mary Clare Millea, who, as Apostolic Visitator, is heading a three-year Vatican study of U.S. women religious communities.

In fact, the prayer and list was put together by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the umbrella organization that represents 95 percent of U.S. women religious.

According to a LCWR spokesperson, the organization had invited women religious communities, singled out for visitations and wanting prayers offered by other women religious, to let the organization know so it could compile a list and share it privately with members.

A source that asked not to be identified shared the communication with NCR and because of a miscommunication NCR inaccurately attributed it to Millea.

NCR sincerely regrets the mistake and any inconvenience it might have caused.

The list of 19 communities, to be visited for up to five days by religious teams, between mid-April and early June, is correct, but likely incomplete. It contains only those communities that had asked for prayers through private LCWR communications.

The list contains the following communities:

  • Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose of Fremont, Calif.

  • Sisters of Sts. Cyril and Methodius of Danville, Pa.

  • Adrian Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Mich.

  • Daughters of Wisdom (U.S. Province) of Islip, N.Y.

  • Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Wheaton, Ill.

  • Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament (Katharine Drexel Sisters) of Bensalem, Pa.

  • Sisters of Mary of the Presentation of Valley City, N.D.

  • Sisters of Notre Dame of Toledo, Ohio

  • Sisters of the Holy Family of New Orleans

  • Benedictine Sisters of Chicago

  • Adorers of the Blood of Christ (U.S. Region) of St. Louis

  • Maryknoll Sisters of Maryknoll, N.Y.

  • Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross (Diocesan Community) of Green Bay, Wis.

  • Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Scranton, Pa.

  • Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul of Emmitsburg, Md.

  • Dominican Sisters of Amityville, N.Y.

  • Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis of Cleveland

  • Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Hamden, Conn.

  • Dominican Sisters, Congregation of St. Thomas Aquinas of Tacoma, Wash.

The LCWR prayer, accompanying the list, reads as follows:

Gracious and loving God, Spirit of Wisdom,
today we come seeking your blessing
on the women whose communities
will be engaged in the next phase of the apostolic visitation.
Fill them with wisdom, patience, grace, and courage
as they complete this phase of the process.
Fill the hearts of the visitors with the light of your Holy Spirit
that together we all may continue to love and praise you
and serve your people with compassion.
We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

The visits mark the beginning of phase three of the Vatican study, first announced in late 2008. Another round of visitations is planned for the fall.

Phase one involved exchanges between Millea and major superiors; phase two, a collection of written responses to questionnaires sent to the congregations. The fourth, the final phase, will involve detailed reports put together by Millea on the more than 400 "units" of apostolic women religious in the United States. They are to be shipped, as part of Millea's final report, to the Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, headed by Cardinal Franc Rodé. It remains unclear what the Vatican will do with this input.

[Tom Fox is NCR editor and can be reached at tfox@ncronline.org.]

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