On Saturday, Sept. 17, I pledged to serve the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities as the congregation’s new general minister. I, along with Sisters Louise Alff, Pamela Conte, Patricia Larkin, Jeanne Weisbeck and Donna Zwigart, are overseeing the spiritual and operational aspects of this community of 400 sisters for the next four years.
Even before taking office, I immersed myself into the business of our community. I have great respect and gratitude for those who shouldered the responsibility to care for my sisters and for the congregation’s legacy before me. They willingly gave me their support.
I am committed to the future of this community, a community that for so long has focused on service to others. My main thrust as general minister is to energize our sisters for mission according to their current abilities and talents, especially the mission of prayer. No matter our age or physical limitations, all our sisters can engage in prayer. People trust in our prayers; our prayers are what people request of us the most. I never underestimate the power of prayer — it can change lives.
As for my leadership style, I see myself as the head of the orchestra, whose role is to bring out the talents of the orchestra-leadership team. With them, and supported by your prayers we will make beautiful music far into the future.
Peace and all good,
Sister Barbara Jean Donovan
Photo Caption: Sister Barbara Jean Donovan pours water into a special bowl as part of the ceremony installing her as general minister of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. She will lead the congregation for the next four years.