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The Formation of a Class of Co-Members

Posted on June 10, 2015, by Loretto Community

By the Study Group CIP Class of 2015

Sometime late in the year 2012, at the suggestion of Mary Ken Lewis, a small group of vowed members from Loretto Motherhouse and prospective co-members who live in the area (including Louisville and Lexington, Ky.) began a study group of I Am The Way. We met once a month after the noon meal on Sundays. The group also included Mike and Stacy Leard, who faithfully joined us from Arizona by Zoom. Later joined by two co-members, we read and pondered IATW articles one by one, seeking to uncover the meaning(s) for our individual lives. As weeks passed, the conversations deepened in trust, freedom and personal involvement. The attendance was nearly perfect every time, and the even participation indicated that each one was engaged in the thoughtful exchange. As we came to the end of the document, the group began to speak of themselves as “A Class” of co-members. The members planned two weekend retreats to reflect together on the nature of their individual commitments and to see if they might together find a commitment they wished to share. They plan to express their commitments publicly in one ceremony, although Stacy and Mike will not join them at that time. Those who participated for various lengths of time were prospective co-members Betsy Clute, Pat Geier, Barbara Hagan, Julie Kerber, Mike and Stacy and Joyce Minkler, who chose not to continue; and vowed and co-members Susan Classen, Eileen Custy, Marie Ego, JoAnn Gates, Mary Ken, Kristin McNamara, Elaine Prevallet, Marie Lourde Steckler and Mary Swain.

The following are reflections shared by the individuals in process:

Pat: “I’ve been inspired, gratified, delighted by the time spent in our group, both our Sunday meetings and the weekend retreats. I look forward to these times together. I really never imagined it would be this good. … Adding the second meeting on Sunday and then the weekend retreats just helped me/us go deeper and gave me a sense of communion that I’ve been hungering for. The more time we spent together, the stronger was my desire to become a co-member. I highly recommend this group process for prospective co-members.”

Stacy and Mike: “[the IATW group] … provided us the accountability that we desired as we struggled to find our place in the Loretto Community despite our physical separation from a Community Group. We so appreciated the support and friendship from our fellow co-members in process, and fondly refer to each other as a ‘class.’ As we went through life changes and discernment periods of our own, we found comfort and wisdom in learning about Loretto’s past and ongoing discernment and formation.”

Barbara: “The ideas shared with our group have definitely made us stronger in the journey of becoming Loretto Community members. I do not know how any experience could have been better planned. Our group could not have had better guidance. My experience has been memorable.”

Julie: “Our IATW study group was truly a centerpiece of the process. It was such an opportunity to listen and share together with each other and our contact persons. Each time we met seemed better than the last. IATW became a tremendous vehicle for growth, discussion, learning. And perhaps most significantly for building close relationships. …What a gift this aspect of the co-membership process has been for all of us. I wish it for every CIP.“

Betsy: “Our little community is a place of deep sharing and nourishment and but a small expression of the Loretto Community. And through this experience, commitment has taken on meaning in ways I couldn’t ever have imagined.”


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Loretto welcomes you

Learn more or plan a visit to the Motherhouse!