Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of October 13, 2008
Sisters of Charity-Halifax elect new leadership team
Special to the WCR
Sister Donna Geernaert has been elected for a second six-year term as congregational leader of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul (Halifax).
Geernaert, a former chaplain at St. Joseph’s College, University of Alberta and former ecumenical advisor with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, is a native of Vancouver.
Since her election in 2002, she has assumed various roles including president of the Canadian Religious Conference. She has a doctorate in theology from University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto.
The new leadership team, headed by Geernaert, took office Sept. 27, the feast of St. Vincent de Paul.
Other members of the team are: Sisters Marjory Gallagher (congregational secretary), Joan Butler (congregational treasurer), and Maryanne Fitzgerald, Roberta Kerins, Sally McLaughlin, and Ann Regan (congregational councillors).
Lives its name
The team will be responsible for ensuring that the congregation “lives its name” of charity, fulfilling its commitment to speak with those who are poor and to work for global change.
The Congregation held its 20th general chapter in July, when more than 200 delegates from across Canada, eastern United States, Bermuda, Dominican Republic and Peru met in Cornwall, Ont.
A chapter is a major congregational meeting convened every six years to decide on future directions and choose a new leadership team.
With this Chapter’s theme of “Together, Bringing Light to Darkness”, discussions and decisions were focused on mission.
A commitment statement was developed to guide the congregation for the coming years.
In part, it reads: “We commit ourselves through prayer and dialogue, study and analysis, collaboration and action, to bring about structural change in the unjust systems that cause poverty in all its forms.”
The Sisters of Charity-Halifax is a congregation with close to 500 members serving in five countries.