COMMUNICATION TO THE CONGREGATION
 
Dear Sisters and Associates,
 
We, the Chapter Planning Committee are writing to you in an effort to clarify and elaborate on our work in preparing for our next General Chapter. Until this past March, and the time of the pandemic, our work had basically been preliminary, and perhaps we had not shared as much information as we should have. This letter is an effort to bring us all up-to-date. As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us, individually or as a group. We want to be transparent and believe that the best way to assure a successful Chapter is for all of us to have as much information as possible so we may be engaged as fully as possible.

The Challenges in Planning for a General Chapter

There is no question that the circumstances surrounding our Chapter have become quite challenging. The conditions of the global pandemic have caused us to pause, to change course, and now, to begin again ---- even if it is with uncertainty. No one knows when we will again be able to travel or to assemble as is our custom. This was the reason we asked Congregational Leadership to make a decision to delay our Chapter for up to one full year. In making this decision we hoped that the most serious roadblocks would be removed by that time. Still, we “hedged” that decision by admitting that there were still so many unanswered questions that we should also begin to make plans for a Virtual Chapter. Our desire was, and is, for a face-to-face Chapter. However, in the event that it was clear that the Chapter would have to be virtual, we determined to make an alternate plan. We proceeded in that direction until recently, when we learned that the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLSAL) was not supportive of virtual Chapters. With this new information, we continue to plan for a face-to-face Chapter in July 2021. Advice from canonists and further clarification from CICLSAL may offer the possibility of again considering a virtual Chapter. For now, we plan for gathering in Allegany in July of 2021.