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Looking Forward to the RCRI National Conference

September 8, 2023

Hoffman is hosting a three-person presentation sharing the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael’s work through planning and implementation to solve their community care needs while honoring their sustainability goals. The presentation will be led by our own Julie Heiberger as both moderator and contributor. Also participating will be Henry Hundt, who might be new to some of you. Henry is an expert in sustainability and has been a renewable energy design and planning consultant on several Hoffman projects since 2017, and recently joined Hoffman as our sustainability leader. Julie and Henry will be joined by Sister Carla Kovack, OP, who is the Prioress of the San Rafael CA Dominicans.

Together, the three will trace the San Rafael Dominican Congregation’s journey to make the Laudato Si Action Platform the center piece of their planning efforts. They will discuss how the Dominicans found new ways of living on their campus by evaluating their building use and energy needs, looking at ways to offset those needs with various solar energy systems. They will also discuss how to research sustainable options specific to your state, as well as the use of energy storage systems and solar carports.

Learning about the specific choices this Congregation is making in order to address climate change will hopefully inform and spark ideas for you as you consider how to use the Laudato Si Platform.

The second panel Hoffman will host is entitled, “Making Hard Decisions… with No Easy Answers”. This session will be presented by three congregation/province leaders, Sisters Ginger Downey, a Victory Noll Sister, Madeleine Munday, a Good Shepherd Sister, and Nancy Conway, of the Congregation of St. Joseph. Julie, who played a key role in responding to each of these congregation’s needs, will moderate their discussion.

Together, these three leaders will talk about the tough decisions they faced with regard to future use of their property and buildings. Decisions such as: Sell? Rent? Build newer and smaller? Future of congregational leadership and resources? Etc.? will be shared in the context of each leader’s story.

We know that most congregations/provinces are facing the challenge of providing health care for their Sisters, as well as how to assess the viability of their buildings. Equally important is the challenge of how to engage members (often older and less able to participate) in decisions about the future.

We hope to see you at RCRI, and hope that one of these two sessions will spark your interest.

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