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The Cecilia Meighan, RSM Institute of Law and Religious Life

The 21st Annual Cecilia Meighan Institute of Law and Religious Life

June 5 - 12, 2014

Director: Bernadette Kenny, RSHM, JD


Bernadette Kenny, RSHM, JD

Sharon Holland, IHM, JCD

Deborah Cerullo, SSND, JD, JCL

Kelly Connors, pm, JCL



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
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.


Executive Director of Institute

Bernadette Kenny, RSHM, JD
An attorney in private practice in New York, exclusively representing Roman Catholic religious congregations and their sponsored ministries in all aspects of civil law. A member of Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Sister Bernadette holds a BA and MA from Marymount and Manhattan Colleges, respectively, and a JD from Fordham University School of Law.

Deborah M. Cerullo, SSND, JD, JCL
An attorney and canonist in private practice, primarily representing religious institutes and their sponsored works. Sister Deborah received her BA from the University of Rhode Island, her JD from Boston University and her JCL from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. A member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, she has served on the law faculties of the University of Notre Dame and Boston College.

Kelly Connors, pm, JCL
Sister Kelly is currently completing her dissertation for her Doctorate in Canon Law at St. Paul University, Ottawa. She holds a BA from Providence College, an MTS from Weston Jesuit School of Theology, and MCL from the University of Ottawa, and a JCL from St. Paul University, Ottawa. A member of the Sisters of Presentation of Mary, she serves as canonical consultant to dioceses and religious institutes.

Sharon Holland, IHM, JCD
Sister Sharon is retired from Office Head for Ordinary Governance, CICLSAL in Rome. After receiving her BA from Marygrove College, and MA from the University of Detroit, Sister Sharon continued her studies and received her JCL and JCD from Gregorian University, Rome. A member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, she has served in provincial leadership and has spoken at numerous conferences and workshops on canonical issues. Sister Sharon will serve as canonist in residence during the Institute.

What do past participants say?

“The Institute provides a basis/context of understanding how law (Canon and Civil) is a tool to enable religious communities to pursue their mission and ministries, and the practical applications and examples provide concrete recommendations for using this tool wisely!”

—Tierney Trueman, OSF, President/Community Minister, Rochester Franciscans, Rochester, MN


“The Institute of Law and Religious Life surely provides a wellspring for leadership in religious congregations. The refreshing and renewing opportunity for sound information combine to afford an enriching and grace-filled experience.”

—Rose Yeager, IHM, Council Member, Immaculata, PA


“The Institute of Law and Religious Life provides religious leadership with essential skills and knowledge in the areas of Civil and Canon law in order to exercise their mandate of service with wisdom, compassion, and prudence.”

—Sister Joyce Candidi,OSHJ, Director of the Office of Vowed Religious, Diocese of Youngstown, Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Hubbard, OH

For more information or to register, please contact Thea Musto at or call 570-674-6155.

PLEASE click on the link below for information and to register