Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
October 24, 1998     Arkansas Catholic
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October 24, 1998

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IMPLEMENTING VATIC II ~J offered to sisters by him was superintendent of schools and associate director of Catholic Social Services, followed by the position of archivist. Today sisters fill other leadership posts, includ- ing pastoral administrator and social action director. In 1975 Bishop McDonald decided that 25 percent of the special projects drive would go to reimburse sisters for under- paid past services. Since then the collection for retired sisters has been inaugurated. It was shortly after that contracts for sisters working in the diocese were explored. "/6 Religious have been involved with the Diocese of Little Rock dia- conate program from the start. Sister Yvonne Lerner, OSB, recently completed her tenure as director. As early as 1977 the bishop was open to the idea of a woman vicar for religious. Many meetings and discussions were undertaken to define the role of a vicar and to find the candidate who met the criteria laid down by the sisters themselves. Bishop McDonald was willing for the sisters to participate in all areas of ministry, including the diaconate program. The first class of the deacon formation began in 1978 with two sisters on the faculty. In 1982 the sisters asked the bishop to recognize those sisters who would be celebrating jubilees that year, Thus began the yearly Mass, beautiful homily and dinner program for all sisters in the dio- cese who have achieved 25, 50 and five-year increments after that. One year the bishop had just returned from Rome and could have easily excused himself from the jubilee gathering, but he was there in top form to mark the siS- ters' very special day with them. In 1983 Rome asked for "liste " ing dialogues" with bishops religious congregations using a specific document as the format, The next year he found himself holding consultations with wome Bishop McDonald and ArchbishO Alphonse A. Penney after a 1987 jubilee celebration Mass in Mo Saint Mary Convent Chapel. Arkansas CathOlf~ /Ji