After 16 years in the role, Sr. Rose Scanlan officially retired as General Secretary in September, ending a much-admired tenure of quiet service to the Congregation and its Council. The occasion was marked with a Eucharistic celebration and meal on Sept. 4 to give thanks and to enjoy the richly deserved milestone with her.
“Sr. Rose was an inspiration to us,” said Sr. Lillian Anne Healy who appointed her to the key role in 2006 when she became Congregational Leader. “During those 8 years, she was a mentor, a guide, a great listener,” she said.
To Sr. Lillian Anne, Sr. Rose presented the ideal candidate for the position owing to her deep and multifaceted knowledge of the life of the Congregation across its missions.
“Because of the roles she had previously, she had a wonderful understanding of our younger Sisters. She has a Master’s in psychology and had a great understanding of culture that the rest of us didn’t have. She had a real feel for what was going on in the missions, in Kenya and Central America,” Sr. Lillian Anne said.
“Her participation in ministry is well grounded in her study of anthropology and intercultural living. Her incarnational spirituality enables her to integrate the many aspects of ministry in leadership and formation,” said Sr. Francesca Kearns.
Beyond knowledge gained from her experiences working in the missions in both healthcare and formation, Sr. Rose also brought a raft of skills and personal qualities to the job that made her indispensable to the smooth functioning of the council. She speaks and writes fluent Spanish and is familiar with Ki Swahili. She is very knowledgeable in history, canon law and grammar, which was important in minute-taking, editing, and communicating with the Sisters. She is known for her punctilious attention to detail; no point too fine, no detail too small, to be overlooked. She supervised Archives and dealt with the personal files of the Sisters, which she held in deepest trust. Her commitment to confidentiality was absolutely unwavering, according to Sr. Lillian Anne. She also had a love for the poor which was deepened through her ministry in times of war and in the midst of poverty.
“My experience is that Sr Rose has a deep love of the Incarnate Word. This devotion nourishes and guides her reflection and ministry,” Sr. Francesca said.
Sr. Ethel Puno has now assumed the role of General Secretary under, for the time being, the guidance of Sr. Rose.
Top left: Sr. Rose happily expressed her gratitude to everyone for the surprise celebration in her honor. Top right: Sister Celeste acknowledging Sr. Rose for her many years of dedicated service to the Congregation. Bottom left: Sisters Maria Mendez, Juana Matias, and Betty Campos singing for Sr. Rose. Bottom right: Sisters from Kenya (L-R: Sr. Sharon Apiyo Anam, Sr. Veronicah Nyokabi Karengeri, Sr. Joyce Susan Njeri Mbataru, Sr. Benedetta Malindi, and Sr. Annastacia Mutiso) singing a song for in honor of Sr. Rose.