News & Events


Sisters of IHM Forward Gather for Prayer, Conversation, Laughter

Twenty-one IHM Sisters gathered the weekend of February 28 to March 1 at the IHM Center as part of the group called IHM Forward consisting of IHM members born in 1951 and forward. The theme for the gathering was the vow of poverty. Gathering planners Sisters Denise Lyon, Dora Vizcarra, Kathleen Burns, Denise Montagne, and Mindy Welding along with facilitator, Sister Mary Catherine Redmond, PBVM, planned prayer, input, discussion sessions, and socials where participants engaged in deepening relationships among themselves while sharing understandings of the vow of poverty.
Books and articles relevant to the vow of poverty were suggested in preparation for the discussion. A video on the vow of poverty by Sr. Marie Chin,
RSM, former Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Mercy, was viewed by the participants prior to small group sharing:

Moving forward, the group’s intentions are:

• To continue to deepen our relationships as the IHM Forward group as we continue to explore, in a contemplative process, various aspects of religious life

• To share with each other honestly our experience as “we strive to share a life of radical interdependence.”(IHM Direction Statement)

To explore ways that we, as a group, can express the experience of our sharing in our daily living 

• To share experiences in a relaxed setting that allows the possibility to deepen our relationships 

• To listen and share with each other in a spirit of openness, respect and curiosity as we share who we are as religious women living the vows in today’s world.

Sister Mary Ellen Higgins joined the group for a brief sharing and closing prayer on Sunday. She talked about the Leadership Collaborative Program and also the 360º Leadership Assessment. She also noted some recent statistics from LCWR about religious communities: 1/3 of the congregations
in the US have fewer than 50 members. Another 1/3 of congregations have fewer than 150 members and 58 congregations have more than 250 members.

The next gathering for IHM Forward is being planned for October 30-November 1, 2020, at St. Raphaela Center in Haverford, PA. The focus of the group’s time together will be the vow of obedience.

Pictured L-R front: Mindy Welding, Giovana Fuentes Bendivez, Mary Ann Lang, Kieran Williams, Liz McGill. Middle: Amanda DelValle, Helene Cooke, Ruth Harkins, Angela Kim, Kathleen Burns, Denise Montagne and Mary Catherine Redmond, PBVM. Back: Fran Fasolka, Rose DiFluri, Denise Lyon, Kate Clancy, Mary Elaine Anderson, Joan McCusker, Elizabeth DeMerchant, Grace Surdovel, and Rosie Gregorio. Joined by Zoom but not pictured, Dora Vizcarra.