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First black sister takes charge of US nuns' leadership body

Sr Constance Phelps has been elected the first African-American to serve as president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the United States (LCWR).

But Sr Phelps said she sees no special significance in what might be regarded as a milestone in the history of the US Church. The current President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops - Bishop Wilton Gregory - is the first African American to hold that office.

Sr Phelps is a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth, Kansas. Her election as LCWR vice president of last year meant she automatically moved up to president on the final day of last week's LCWR national assembly in Detroit.

Taking the theme Tending the Holy, the assembly focused on environmental justice in keynote addresses by Franciscan Sr Nancy Schreck and popular environmental spirituality author Brian Swimme.

Catholic News Service

Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the United States | Constance Phelps SCL
Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth

32 Sep 2003