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The Role of the Diocesan Bishop as Religious Institutes Come to Completion

September 23 2020

2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EST

Sister Bonnie MacLellan csj JCD

The recording of Sister Bonnie’s webinar can be viewed here


In this presentation, Sister Bonnie will share reflections on the role of the diocesan bishop when Religious Institutes, be they diocesan or pontifical, make a decision to come to completion. The discussion will include the role of the diocesan bishop in general, the relationship between bishops and religious; current demographic realities for religious institutes in North America; Canonical reconfiguration options for consideration including collaborative governance models, and necessary canonical processes associated with each option.

 Sister Bonnie MacLellan

Sister Bonnie MacLellan entered The Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie in 1973. During her novitiate, she served in various areas of nursing and hospital administration in hospitals owned and operated by her congregation throughout northern Ontario. In 1988, she completed a Master of Public Health with a specialty in hospital administration from the University of Minnesota. In 1996, she completed a Masters Degree in Human and Organizational Development from the Fielding Institute in Santa Barbara, CA, and in 1998, successfully defended her doctoral thesis in Human and Organizational Systems.

After completing four years as a General Councillor on the leadership team of her congregation from 1998-2002, she was elected General Superior, a position in which she served from 2002-2010. In 2011, she began her study of Canon Law at Saint Paul University, and completed her JCL in 2013. She was re-elected to the position of General Superior in 2014. During this term of office, she completed her JCD and was re-elected as General Superior in 2018.

She currently serves on various Catholic health care ministry boards and sponsor boards, offers canonical education in Catholic health care leadership programs, provides canonical consultations to religious institutes, and serves as a Chapter facilitator.

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