Reflections on Leadership
For the past eight years, Sister Roberta Freeman has been Director of CSJ Associates. She is pictured below, speaking at an Associate retreat. Leadership of the Associates is passing to the Associates themselves on April 13, 2008. Sister Mary Buckley asked Sister Roberta to reflect on her experience — their exchange follows…
How did you come to take on the position of Director of CSJ Associates?
In October 1999, Sister Margaret Myatt asked if I would consider taking on the responsibility of Director of the CSJ Associates. After prayer and reflection, I agreed to do so even though I had not been involved at all with the Associates. My official start date was Nov. 1, 1999.
Did you find it difficult to come into such a new situation?
I would not say it was difficult but rather, a challenge. There was a lot of “learning” required on my part. I read materials and background information and asked to be invited to a meeting of each associate community to see firsthand how each was handled and to meet the members of each community.
Sister Grace Sauvé had left everything in great shape and left me many clues around how to proceed. This was invaluable as I worked through the first year with the Core Team.
Were there any surprises?
What surprised me was to find out how committed the associates were, not only to our charism and spirituality but also to their own communities and to each other. Their commitment, too, to apostolic service and outreach was very impressive.
As you look back on the past eight years, what special moments come to mind?
Some special moments include:
- The 20th and 25th Anniversary celebrations;
- The graduation of Associates from the two-year Leadership Training Program.
- Attending Associate community meetings;
- Participating in “special occasion celebrations” of some Associate communities;
- The inspiration that I have received from many of the Associates as they live out their call in their daily lives
- and their own unique personal situations.
What will you miss as you move on from this position?
I will miss the contact I have had with the associates and with potential candidates. However I know that I will still have the opportunity to meet with them when the Congregation and associates come together.