On April 25-29, 2022, the Annual CMSWR Formators Workshop was held at Malvern Retreat House (St. Joseph -on-the-Hills) in Malvern, PA. Sister Helena of Mary, O.Carm. attended the conferences. There were about 90 attendees. The last Formators' gathering was held virtually last year and so the excitement and joy at being able to meet again in person was high! Young women religious Formators from newly founded CMSWR communities, and other long established ones, gathered for conferences, liturgy of the hours and Mass, discussion group meetings led by a facilitator and formation directors in small group meetings. The schedule was packed and tight (even taking extra sessions after supper) but there was daily Exposition, Adoration, Benediction and extra time given to personal visits to Chapel. Three major speakers gave uplifting and substantive talks on the following topics: "Forming for a Eucharistic Life: Revisiting the Vision" by Sister Regina Marie Gorman, O.C.D; "Forming for a Eucharistic Life: Taken, Broken, Given" by Bishop Andrew Cozzens (Virtual); "Forming for a Eucharistic Life: The Eucharistic Formation of the Saints" by Father Dennis Gill. Other conferences were by the Santa Croce panelists on "Elements of Formation" ; "A Starter Kit for Formators" and "Formative Power of the Liturgy." On Thursday, April 28, a good part of the day was answering questions from the Sisters by a panel of four "seasoned" Formators.
Most Reverend Andrew Cozzenes, the eight bishop of the Diocese of Crookston, was installed on December 6, 2021. Bishop Cozzens served as Auxillary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis from 2013 to 2021.
Sister Regina Marie Gorman, O.C.D is a member of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles. She has held several positions in her congregation including Directress of Novices, Superior General, Vicar general, CMSWR Chairperson and public speaker.
Reverend Dennis Gill was ordained a priest in 1983 for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He is the current Rector and Pastor of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul and Director of the Office for Divine Worship.
There were also conferences given by newly appointed Formators who attended the Santa Croce Formation Program in Rome. The program covers a month of studies for new Formators. These Sisters shared on what the program was like and the take- away they found helpful in the discharge of their new responsibilities.
Overall, the program was rich in content and uplifting as the Sisters enjoyed each others company. Many new friendships were made and a good sharing of community stories, Formation materials and resources were promised to be sent by email to each other! There were new insights on trends, challenges and initiatives particular to each Community. I thank our Leadership for continually supporting the work of Formation and allowing my participation in this gathering. We look forward to next year's workshop already scheduled for April 24-28, 2023!