News & Events


IHM Sister Participates in Life Commitment Program

From July 6 to 11, 2020, our Sister Elizabeth DeMerchant participated in the Life Commitment Program sponsored by the National Religious Formation
Conference. There were twenty-four women and men religious from various parts of the world who gathered virtually for the program. Participants attending were from Japan, Kenya, and Australia, to name only a few places, so attendees had to be up and dressed at all hours of the night and day to connect to the program. Elizabeth was one of four IHMs attending the program this year. Sister Audra attended from Monroe and Sisters Kathryn, and Christina attended from Immaculata.

All the participants were thrilled to have various presenters during the week. Presentations included Sister Charlene Diorka, SSJ on Religious Life as a
Prophetic Enterprise, Sister Carole Riley, CDP on the Vow of Obedience, Sister Mary Pat Garvin, RSM on the Vow of Celibacy and Brother John Barker, OFM on the Vow of Poverty. Sister Connie Schoen, OP, was the final presenter, and she spoke to the group on Community as Living Witness to the Incarnation. After each presentation, there were small group conversations that, according to Elizabeth, were full of richness due to the diversity of experiences and cultural backgrounds of those attending. There was also a sister from a monastic community that offered another perspective to their conversations.

The program's goal was to create an atmosphere to deepen the discernment process regarding each participant's desire and freedom to choose a lifelong vowed commitment. At the end of the week, Elizabeth found herself grateful for the gift of the group. She said it was a refreshing blessing to be able to share with others who are also approaching this very significant decision in their lives. Elizabeth's only regret was that the program had to be offered via technology due to Covid-19 since she felt that one loses the opportunity for the conversations that take place at meals and in the evenings. Elizabeth shared that she would highly recommend the program for future sisters preparing for their final vows.