The 26th Annual
Cecilia Meighan, RSM Institute of Law and Religious Life

The Individual Religious: Profession of the Evangelical Counsels (Vows) and the Obligations and Rights of Membership in the Institute
(Year Two of the Three-Year Cycle)
June 6 - 12, 2019
This year's program examines in-depth the civil and canon law implications of the vows, including the relationships created by the vows.
Click here for the program curriculum.
Click here for the 2019 brochure.

Register by March 1 for the early bird discount.
Click here for the registration form.

Please call 570-674-6161, or email for more information.

Lynn Jarrell, OSU, MA, JCD
Deborah M. Cerullo, SSND, JD, JCL
Sharon Holland, IHM, JCD
Lynn Jarrell, OSU, MA, JCD
Daniel J. Ward, OSB, JD, JCL, MA

This program will enable you to:
Gain a new perspective on the role and responsibilities of leadership
Interact with those who share similar responsibilities and challenges
Discover alternative solutions to problems
Create a network of peers
Refresh yourself in a restful, relaxed and pleasant environment, with opportunities to participate in recreational and cultural activities

The Institute offers professional development to those elected or appointed to positions of leadership in Roman Catholic religious congregations. Over the course of the Institute, attendees can seek input and advice not only from the faculty, but also from their more experienced peers. Interaction among attendees and faculty is encouraged.

Three-Year Cycle
The three-year cycle enables faculty to address major areas more thoroughly. Faculty is well prepared with up-to-date information on current issues in religious life. Participants are drawn from a cross-section of national and international religious communities, providing a rich background against which to test legal principles.


Deborah M. Cerullo, SSND served as an attorney and canonical consultant for religious institutes for over twelve years before being elected to leadership in 2016. A member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, she currently serves on the provincial council of the Atlantic-Midwest Province with offices in Baltimore MD. She has also served on the law faculties of the University of Notre Dame and Boston College and as a legal services attorney in both secular and faith based organizations. Her civil law degree is from Boston University and her canon law licentiate is from St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum) in Rome, Italy.

Following her retirement from the Congregation for Consecrated Life in Rome (2009) Sr. Sharon continued as a canonical consultant to religious institutes and their sponsored ministries. She was elected Vice-President of her Congregation in 2012 and served in the Presidency of LCWR from 2013-2016. She received a B. Mus. from Marygrove College, an MA in religious studies from the University of Detroit and a JCD from the Gregorian University in Rome. She is a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Monroe, MI.

Lynn Jarrell, OSU, a member of the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville, Kentucky, has a Doctorate in Canon Law from The Catholic University of America, and served in her congregation’s leadership, as President and Vice-President and was the Associate Director of Canonical Affairs for the Resource Center for Religious Institutes. She has taught canon law at various schools of theology, and seminaries, has served in Diocesan Tribunals and as president, of the Canon Law Society of America.

Daniel J. Ward, OSB, JD, JCL, MA
Daniel Ward, OSB, is a monk of St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota. He has a JD in civil law (University of Iowa), a JCL in canon law (The Catholic University of American), and MA in theology (St. John’s University, Minnesota). Dan has served on the governing council of the American Cassinese Congregation of Benedictine Abbeys for over 30 years; he has served on the abbot’s council of his own abbey, and has been the superior at three monasteries. Dan was the executive director of the Legal Resource Center for Religious (LRCR) and the founding director of the Resource Center of Religious Institutes (RCRI). Dan taught canon law and civil law at St. John’s University. He is widely published and given presentations on topics of both canon and civil law. Dan served as president, vice-president and member of the Board of Governors of the Canon Law Society of America. Since receiving his education degrees, Dan has specialized in canonical and civil law work for institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life particularly in areas of membership, governance, finance, and the covenant project. He has prepared cases and represented religious institutes in canonical matters.

What do past participants say?

The Institute was extremely helpful. I have served in elected office for my congregation over several years and this was the first year I participated in the Institute. I wondered how I survived without this information! I kept thinking that the Institute should be mandatory! Truly elected leaders who have participated really should strongly encourage their successors, treasurers, CFOs, and formation directors to participate in the Institute.
~Toni Harris OP, Dominican of Sinsinawa, Prioress

I want to express my gratitude for ALL aspects of the Institute! It was a tremendously valuable experience in terms of both my community and my university.
~Karen Elliott, CPPS, Sisters of the Precious Blood, Director of Mission Integration at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, OH

The business side of Religious Life is not taught anywhere else as it is here. I wish I had had some of this training the years of my formation so that by now the terms and the interplay of the two systems of Law would be familiar to me. The responsibilities of leadership require some background out of which to plan and make decisions. This course was very helpful in that direction.
~Mary Kirkhoff, MMS Membership Coordinator UNA

I would encourage those who have the role of delegates for consecrated life to take advantage of this way of obtaining invaluable information from those who specialize in law for religions.
~Margaret Downing, RSM, Delegate for Consecrated Life, Diocese of Savannah

This is a great opportunity for Sisters in Leadership – both in the Congregation and in sponsored ministries. Communities must also educate their “ordinary” Sisters who are potential leaders in future.
~Maria Fest, CDP, Congregation of the Sisters of Divine
Providence, General Superior

The faculty is well-qualified in their areas of canon and/or civil law. Topics are very useful and practical to leaders of religious institutes. The Institute is well worth the time and expense.
~Cecilia Taphorn, CPPS, Sisters of the Precious Blood Vice President/Councilor

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