SPRINGFIELD, IL — Sister Rebecca Ann Gemma, OP, prioress general of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, is the president-elect of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) for a 3-year term that begins in August 2021.
The LCWR presidency is a three-person team of Catholic sisters which includes the president, president-elect, and past president who collaborate to lead the conference. Sister Rebecca Ann will serve as president-elect for a year, moving into the president’s chair in August 2022. The LCWR president for 2021-2022 is Sister Mary Jane Herb, who is president of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters of Monroe, Mich. Adrian Dominican Sister Elise Garcia, will become the past president in August and is a general councilor for the Adrian Dominican Sisters.
LCWR members voted online June 5 to June 26; the results of the election were announced June 28. “LCWR has played a vital role in the transformational leadership of congregations of Catholic sisters throughout the years,” Sister Rebecca Ann said. “It will have a positive impact on religious life now and into the future. I look forward to serving the 49,000 Catholic sisters served by LCWR during these coming years, as we strive to dismantle racism and embrace a leadership of mutuality and reconciliation.”
Sister Rebecca Ann notified the members of the Springfield Dominican congregation of her election with an email thanking the sisters for their prayerful support during her discernment. “I trust the Spirit will guide all of us as this unfolds,” she wrote. “My prayer is that this service will enrich all of us as we continue our presence and preaching for the life of the world.” LCWR has about 1350 members-all elected leaders of their congregations-who represent nearly 80 percent of the women religious in the United States. Founded in 1956, the conference assists its members to collaboratively carry out their service of leadership to further the mission of the Gospel in today’s world.