Friday, March 24, 2017
   
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Gathering for Connection, Creativity and Community

On September 16, the National Communicators Network for Women Religious held their 14th annual conference, “Creativity Flows for over 100 communicators ” in Cincinnati, Ohio. NCNWR’s mission: to be a network of professional support and education for members who promote understanding of women religious, enhance their image and advance their mission.

From the powerful all-day presentation by Caroline Foster who spoke on “From Overwhelm to Creative Renewal: Recapturing Vitality and Direction” to the final general session presenter, Annmarie Sanders IHM, on “The World Will Be Saved by Beauty”— and Communicators Can Help!” the conference modeled its topic.

While the general sessions dealt with maintaining creativity, energy and radical hope, the breakouts offered the practical side: New Technologies, Photography, and Getting your Message Out. One of the highlights of the conference was the Best Practices session that “showcases the outstanding work of NCNWR members” and hearing about these winning projects was exciting.

Opportunities to network were numerous: NCNWR members are very approachable.  Communicators for Sisters of St. Joseph congregations met over lunch, discussed common issues and took time for a photo:

ROW 1: Joanne Gallagher, CSJ, Boston, Gisela Côté, Toronto, Jennie Beatrice, St. Louis, Barbara Hecht, Baden
ROW 2: Bridget Brewster and Eileen Rutten, Congregation of St. Joseph, Barbara Mullen, CSJ, Chambery-West Hartford, Gina Sullivan, Congregation of St. Joseph, Stephanie Hall, Erie.
ROW 3: Darlene Rogers, Boston, Grace Skalski and Terri Phillips, Congregation of St. Joseph, Rob Cogswell, Orange. CA.

I brought back so much, including:

  • Some inspiring publications of other congregations;
  • Names from the helpful listserv to which I can now put a face – NCNWR members share a group email address where members post questions hoping other members can answer from their own experience;
  • A bibliography of books on creativity;
  • A few down-to-earth tips for: pointing toward reality, working from our strengths and finding our resilient voice;
  • Connections to other communicators.

By Gisela Côté
Photo courtesy of Joanne Gallagher CSJ

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