In November, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina hosted the 11th Collaboration for Ministry Initiative Conference in Myrtle Beach, SC where Sisters from all over the state gathered to renew, affirm and learn.

This year’s conference was titled “The Year of Consecrated Life” envisioned after Pope Francis’s year of Consecrated Life for all Catholics around the world. The main speakers were Sr. Margaret Carney, OSF, and David B. Couturier, OFM. Of St. Bonaventure University in New York, NY.

Both speakers focused heavily on the religious realities of today and the near future. Their presentations centered on the motivating need to wake up to new opportunities and include upcoming generations to offset dwindling Order populations.

Sisters spoke to the importance of these messages, saying “

[they gave] wonderful insight on the reality of millennials and how to engage them” and “[they did] a wonderful job of planting ideas for the unknown future.”

As the ministry highlight for the weekend, Julie Smithwick, Executive Director of PASOs, spoke to the work her organization is doing in S.C. PASOs helps the Latino community and service providers work together for strong and healthy families through education, support and grassroots leadership development.

After the ice cream social, filled with dancing and games, the sisters gathered on the last day to hear from Mark Smalls, J.D., Ph.D, Clemson University. Smalls not only summarized all the key points from the weekend, but emphasized joy. His presentation encouraged the sisters to share their memories and definitions of joy through group discussions.

The success of the 2015 CMI Conference comes from not only the staff who put it together, but the sister’s willingness to engage and uplift each other for a weekend.

Sisters spoke to the meaning of the weekend to them, stating “[The weekend was] very peace-filled. It was a real joy to pray among so many people who live in the presence of Christ and love those most in need” and “What a blessing to be with so many wonderful people willing to serve, regardless of where and who.”