The 25th Annual
Cecilia Meighan, RSM Institute of Law and Religious Life

The Religious Institute: Governance Structures and Responsibilities in Church and Civil Law
(Year One of the Three-Year Cycle)
June 7 - 13, 2018

Director: Lynn Jarrell, OSU, MA, JCD

Deborah M. Cerullo, SSND, JD, JCL
Sharon Holland, IHM, JCD
Lynn Jarrell, OSU, MA, JCD
Margaret Taylor, RSM, JD

Please call 570-674-6161 for more information or to reserve your spot or email

Please click here for the 2018 brochure.
Please click here to download the early bird registration form.
Register by March 1st for Early Bird Discount!

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.

Margaret Taylor, RSM, a member of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, holds a JD from Georgetown University Law Center. She worked in legal services agencies and in economic and housing development in low income neighborhoods in Philadelphia. She served as Vice-President for her religious community and has served as a sponsor and trustee in health care, education, social services, and legal services organizations. She served as the initial Director of Sponsorship for the Mid-Atlantic Community of the Sisters of Mercy.

What do past participants say?

The overall wonderful hospitality combined with the expertise of the faculty created a great setting for intellectual growth and community bonding. I am learning enough to ask the right questions and have the beginnings of a new network among my fellow participants..
Jean Cherry, FSSJ Franciscan
Sisters of St. Joseph, Hamburg, NY

The Institute handled pertinent issues of interest for religious communities and others connected with the official Church. Our presenters were knowledgeable in their fields. I learned so much and have increased my appreciation of what our Provincial leadership and Generalate team deal with on a frequent basis. Thank you for an excellent conference!
Margaret Pastro, SP
Sisters of Providence, Beaverton, OR

This Institute is holistic, practical, deeply spiritual and provides an invaluable opportunity for further networking. The presenters are steeped in legal knowledge (canonical and civil) and are well seasoned with a depth of experiences and an understanding of the realities facing congregations today. The experience is retreat-like – a reflection on our common life.
Sr. Marcia Ann Fiutko, FSSJ
Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph, Hamburg, NY

This Institute is the premier offering in North America on Law & Religious Life. Any conversation you might imagine having regarding religious life will be enhanced by what you learn here. Personally and professionally – win, win, win!
Sherryl White, CSJ
Sisters of St. Joseph, Pittsburgh, PA

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