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Loretto Motherhouse Hosts Succession Planning Discussion

Posted on April 1, 2017, by Kathy Wright SL

Eleven sisters who serve in administrative positions in LLBI, at the Motherhouse or in a sponsored ministry along with some of the younger vowed members gathered at the Motherhouse on Jan. 28 and 29 to be part of a discussion entitled “Succession Planning.” The process and discussion were led by Jean East and centered on the opportunities present in a framework of significant change and ambiguity.

Many participants realize that there is a strong possibility that they will be the last Sisters of Loretto in the position where they now serve. Each one wants to do whatever she can to ensure a smooth transition to a non-Loretto member if/when that occurs. The group identified what a member of the Community brings to an administrative position that is different from the gifts brought by a non-member to a position. How is it different working for a community that is also an organization rather than another nonprofit organization? The emphasis was on laying some groundwork so that the work could continue without interruption at some future point.

Some staff members already have begun a form of succession planning through hiring with an eye toward having these new hires possibly succeed them some day. Others are engaged in documenting the work to enable someone new to step into the position. In all the discussions participants acknowledged the changes and decisions that come with a new administration in 2019. Much of what was considered is intended as an offering for a new administration.

One of the most interesting parts of the weekend for me was the informal discussions of what the Community might do in the future to maintain an awareness of Loretto values and activities in the sponsored schools. Continuing such programs as the Teacher Exchange, Motherhouse Service Trip and Student Leadership Gathering is valuable and worthwhile. We also reflected on the power of a visit to the Motherhouse as a great way to strengthen the connections among students, teachers and Loretto.

Regina Drey’s work as Director of Loretto Projects at St. Mary’s Academy provided a great starting point for conversation, and it was easy to imagine co-members, Loretto Circle members and teachers already on staff furthering Loretto in everyday school life. That includes bringing Loretto into classrooms and curriculum through Zoom or in-person visits; sharing publications, prayer services and mission initiative with teachers in all the schools; and other ways to keep Loretto a vibrant presence. In addition, the Volunteer Program, U.N. NGO and Pakistan Mission also provide valuable connections to carry Loretto forward into the future.

At the end of the weekend, this discussion seemed like just one more of the many Community conversations that are taking place. Whether it is conversation about administrative tasks, civil incorporation, the future of the Motherhouse or emerging forms of membership, all of these conversations are part of the larger “succession planning” that is engaging all of Loretto.


Kathy Wright SL

Kathy, a CPA, joined the Sisters of Loretto in 1986 and continued her service to a variety of non-profits (including Nerinx Hall and Loretto Academy) and Loretto with her financial skills. She has enjoyed serving on many committees, including the Investment Committee, Guatemala Sister Community Committee, Executive Committee, Finance Committee and Forum. Kathy lived and worked in Haiti, where she fell in love with the people there. She now resides in Florida.
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Loretto welcomes you

Learn more or plan a visit to the Motherhouse!