As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception today and continue our Advent pilgrimage, we have an opportunity to reflect on what Christ prepared us to do. As religious, we freely gave ourselves to Him. First, though, he invited us. Christ prepared us with His grace, and we responded. Early in the liturgical year, it is good for us to stop and reflect on this basic fact since it is foundational for all that we do in religious leadership. We are not the only ones who were called and responded, so were our brothers in community.

As we make decisions about common life and ministry, in what ways do we reflect on how we go about leading? Is it done in the context of careful listening, prayerful discernment, and even patient waiting in the style of Advent? How do we form ourselves for our leadership to be more fruitful?

There is no single way to go about these things, but CMSM does offer some opportunities to do such reflection, especially during our Winter Leadership Gathering and our New Leader Workshop. We hope that you will take the time to be part of one of these programs.

May you have a good continuation of the Advent season and a blessed Christmas.

In prayerful solidarity,

Frank Donio, SAC
Executive Director

This is an excerpt from the November Items of Note. Items of Note is a monthly email for CMSM members and partners. If you are not receiving Items of Note once a month via email, please email