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Sister Marlene Weisenbeck named president of Leadership of Catholic Women

In their annual assembly, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), elected Sister Marlene Weisenbeck, president of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration (FSPA), La Crosse, Wis., to the conference presidency. Sister Marlene will serve as president-elect in 2008-2009, as president in 2009-2010 and past president the following year, 2010-2011. She was elected Aug. 3 as leaders of U.S. orders of Catholic sisters met in Denver, Colo., to explore key questions facing religious life today.

"It will be a privilege to represent the conference which embodies many religious communities who have given voice and service to the Gospel vision of Christ in our country and internationally," said Sister Marlene.

As president, Sister Marlene will work closely with the newly elected vice president and the past president to carry out LCWR's mission to promote a vital understanding and living of religious life. During her nomination speech, Sister Weisenbeck said, "We must continue to ask the most critical questions about religious life, particularly those that pertain to our identity within God's creation and the ecclesial structures of the church. We will always be in a liminal space on the journey, that place where we have been and the one where God is leading us. Clarity about our identity will inevitably lead us to an ever renewing focus on mission."

Sister Marlene is the first FSPA to be elected as LCWR president. She has served as FSPA president since 2002. Prior to that, she served the La Crosse, Wis., diocese in the Office of Consecrated Life, and as chancellor. Before she studied canon law she taught music at the high school and college levels. She holds a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a master's degree from George Peabody College, Nashville, Tenn., and a bachelor's degree from Viterbo University, La Crosse.

LCWR has approximately 1,500 members who are elected leaders of their religious orders, representing approximately 67,000 Catholic sisters. The conference develops leadership, promotes collaboration within church and society and serves as a voice for systemic change.