‘Have Only One Heart, One Soul, One Mind’
‘Have only one heart, one soul, one mind.’Words of Father Charles Nerinckx
Dec. 8, 2018, was a special feast day at the Loretto Motherhouse and for Loretto members everywhere. A blessing ritual celebrated the outgoing President Pearl McGivney and the newly elected President Barbara Nicholas, with the respective Executive Committees and Forum members. The ritual included the five past presidents who were present for the celebration.
The newly elected leadership group was blessed with these words: “May you see your leadership as gift and its challenges as blessings. May you answer God’s call to work for a future rich in possibilities for Loretto and all we serve.” Each member was given a candle as an expression of our founder’s vision of service.
The outgoing Executive Committee/Forum was blessed with these words: “May this blessing draw you into our gratitude as you remember each person, each event, each thing that called you to say yes to the grace of leadership.” Each member received a beautiful drawing of a mandala created by Sharon Kassing.
It was so fitting as we celebrated this transition of leadership to have the five past presidents present. They, along with Mary Ann Coyle in Denver, are all part of Loretto’s living legacy. We invited them to give a blessing to everyone in the chapel. “May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith, that grounded in love you may have the strength to know the love of God that surpasses all knowledge, so that you may join with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, in praise and thanksgiving to the One who loves us forever.” We all prayed together these words of Father Charles Nerinckx, “Love one another, have only one heart, one soul, one mind.”
Barbara closed the event with words of thanksgiving for the transition ritual, with good wishes to Pearl as she plans to return to service in central Florida and a request for the prayers of the Community as the new team begins. Barbara stated, “Let’s always pray for one another. I’m happy to serve as Loretto’s next president.” Applause rang through the chapel. Barbara added this historical perspective that the last elected leader of the Sisters of Loretto born in Kentucky was Mother Ann Joseph Mattingly. She took office in 1882. Today, 136 years later, we all offered our new Kentucky-born President, the Executive Committee and Forum our prayers and support.
This past Dec. 8 was a Loretto Community day. A day we held each other “in common” as we blessed those leaving office and welcomed those beginning new service. This feast day was a day to celebrate how we are united in a larger purpose: to live in peace and spread the love of God through our mission efforts. The circle of leadership invites everyone, not as an end in itself, but points us all to the margins where God’s people live.