August 1, 2021, ushers in a new moment for the RSHM Eastern American Area, blessed by the warmth and confidence of the tried and true. Sr. Rosamond Blanchet, newly appointed Area Leader, served earlier years in various capacities: school principal, formation director, and provincial councillor, prior to her term as provincial superior, 2003-09. During this term, Sr. Rosamond oversaw the successful completion of a capital campaign for the major renovation of Marymount Convent. Other notable areas of development included strengthening the province committee structure, expanding the RSHM Network of Schools, and collaborating with the Western American Province in formation of novices and young professed sisters.
Sr. Rosamond’s leadership rose to a global level with her election as general superior for the years 2013-19. This new role involved travel on five continents for visitation of communities and ministries, enlarged general council meetings, consultations for leadership, assemblies, and special celebrations. She led her council in extensive planning, especially for our mission in Africa and heritage in Béziers. There were many special events, but one of the most memorable was a papal audience where Pope Francis recognized and blessed the RSHM on the occasion of the 170th anniversary of our founding in 1849.
Catherine Vincie and Susan Gardella also bring proven leadership skills to this new team. Catherine, having been a councillor for the past six years, brings invaluable continuity in ongoing plans and projects, as well as the richness of her gifts and credentials in liturgy and music. Her talent and experience have been central in planning the renovation of the chapel in Marymount Convent and creating many rituals of celebration.
Susan is widely recognized for 25 years of leadership of the LIFE Center in Sleepy Hollow, making it, especially during the pandemic, a central source of much-needed food security and educational stability. Recently, Sleepy Hollow’s Thursday Club presented a gift of $82,000 “to the LIFE Center and its driving force, Sr. Susan Gardella.”
This new team has a graced history, both in their individual contributions and in their shared experiences. Sr. Rosamond ended her letter naming the two councillors with the invocation, “Once again, we ask God to grace us in our living of our 2019 General Chapter theme: ‘Called to continue the mission of Jesus Christ: Firm in faith, vibrant in hope, rooted in love and one in service.’ Rejoicing in the blessings of Pentecost, we pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on us and upon our human family. Come, Holy Spirit, come and renew the face of the earth.”