Devoted to its mission of supporting Catholic sisters and their ministries, and recognizing the needs that sisters in this region faced, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina launched the Collaboration for Ministry Initiative (CMI) in 2003. The Foundation recognized that sisters were spread out across the state and often distanced from one another, void of the opportunity to assemble and work together in ministry. In response to this, CMI sought to convene sisters from across the state and provide them with the opportunity for collaboration.
CMI is now in its 12th year of hosting an annual conference for sisters in South Carolina providing a unique opportunity for sisters to gather for education, networking, retreat, and spiritual renewal. Bishop Guglielmone, Diocese of Charleston, also now sees the convention as an opportunity to dialogue with sisters from across the state as a group.
The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland also helps to support this integral convening and often sends a contingent of Sisters, including leadership from the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine and the Conference of Religious Leadership (CORL) in addition to Foundation staff from northeast Ohio to attend.
“It was a great opportunity to meet the South Carolina Foundation staff because we don’t often get the chance to work with them,” commented Margaret Eigsti, program officer for the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland. “I think that it was a wonderful opportunity for reflection as well as networking and socializing. There was a lot of joy amongst the group throughout the entire weekend,” she added.
“It was so good to be with the sisters that minister in South Carolina and to hear about and be inspired by their ministries in reaching out to poor and marginalized in that region,” added Sr. Margaret Mach, a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati and member of the Conference of Religious Leadership (CORL). “The keynote speaker was excellent and offered me a lot to reflect on with the theme of mercy. I’m so grateful to the Foundation staff who put their time and energy into preparing this weekend, it’s a once a year opportunity and you can tell it’s appreciated by all of the sisters in attendance.”
2016 CMI Conference Look-Back
Published by: The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina
The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina was proud to host the 12th annual Collaboration for Ministry Initiative Statewide Conference for Women Religious. Each year everyone involved is bursting with joy and thanks after a weekend filled with fellowship, learning and rejuvenation.
This year, the conference focused on “The Face of Mercy,” based off of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. The keynote speaker for this year’s conference was Sr. Ray Maria McNamara, RSM. She did a great job of taking a deep dive into the meaning of mercy using classic images to portray God’s mercy. Sr. Ray Maria was an integral part of the successful conference. A participant’s survey said “Sister Ray Maria was wonderful. Her sharing of herself made the presentation, and her spirituality was so motivating. I want to go home and begin again my journey inward to go outward.”
Another highlight of the conference was when The Most Reverend Robert E. Guglielmone joined for conversation. Not only did he have open discussion with conference participants, but he was also given the Foundation’s Leadership in Diversity Award. Each year the Foundation recognizes an individual or organization that illustrates exemplary performance in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion with the Leadership in Diversity Award. Bishop Guglielmone is a true believer in diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are beyond proud to have him as the 2016 Leadership in Diversity Award Winner.
Each year conference participants enjoy game night filled with bingo, dancing, ice cream and prizes. This year was as exciting as ever with new games such as “cookie face,” and a conga line that included Sisters, Foundation staff and hotel staff!
The success of the 2016 CMI Conference comes from not only the staff who put it together, but the sisters’ willingness to engage and uplift each other for a weekend. Many Sisters spoke highly of the weekend. One stated “this annual conference provides lots of encouragement and new life for us to continue our mission to the people of South Carolina. CMI ministers to the ministers. Thank you.”