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North America-Pacific SSCC Secular Branch 14th Leadership Conference (Brs & Srs)

In 1999 with guidance from the respective Provincials, Secular Branch sector representatives, met at Palos Verdes, CA. and created the North America-Pacific Annual Leadership Conference to promote unity in the development and sustainability of Secular Branch (SB).

Fourteen years later, the sectors from the Pacific Province, USA Province and USA West Region met once again for their annual leadership conference on April 22-25, 2013 in Hawaii. The total North America-Pacific membership consists of 140 commissioned members, 25 candidates, 3 sector coordinators, 7 community leaders within the sectors and 4 Religious Mentors accompanying SB. The USA West Region has the largest group with 94 members.

The 19 conference participants were greeted by Provincials-Sr. Regina Mary Jenkins, ss.cc.(Pacific Province) and Fr. Johnathan Hurrell, ss.cc. (USA Province) with this resounding message:


Hawaii-Pacific Sector
Coordinator: Aileen Kupihea
Members: Brian Apo, Sarah Palepale , Laura Chapa and candidate Karen Kim
Guests: Sr. Helene Wood, ss.cc. and Sr. Ivy Yim, ss.cc.

United States Sector -Massachusetts
Provincial: Fr. Johnathan Hurrell, ss.cc.
Religious Mentor: Fr. Stan Kolasa, ss.cc
Guests: Fr. Pat Killilea , ss.cc. and Fr. David Lupo, ss.cc.

USA West Sector -California
Religious Mentor: Fr. Mike Barry, ss.cc.
Coordinator: Stephany Reh
Community Leaders: Jacqueline Herrera, Lenie Papa, Niela Chavez and Jim Herrett
Members: Tricia Leon, Rachel Arrequin and Grace Herrett

The major work of the conference consisted of a new SB Formation Manual, applying for non-profit status, responding to the General Government SB Questionnaire and a 3 Yr. Plan.

The formation adhoc committee presented the final draft of the North America-Pacific Secular Branch Formation Manual for final review. The purpose of the manual is to acquaint, inform, teach and provide some basic materials on belonging to the Congregation. The Guidelines for the formation of SB Candidates - Annex 3 (2006 General Chapter on SB) were used when the manual outline was initially formulated.

Stephany Reh, Chief Financial Officer of the Sacred Hearts Secular Branch, Inc. informed the sectors of the stringent financial reporting requirements for the corporation. SB is currently working on applying for a non-profit status.

The conference engaged in a lively discussion regarding how we would like to work with the General Government’s new SB Team. We would like the Team to get to know our SS.CC. Spirituality, to come and visit us in our SB communities with our families , to be involved with us through direct communication and to interact with us by sharing ideas and being open to those from the laity . A collective response to the SB Questionnaire was sent to Fr. Camille Sapu, ss.cc.

Everyone expressed joy in coming together to celebrate our growth in the SS.CC. Charism, out plans for the future, and for the warm “generous family spirit” from Sr. Anne Clare De Costa, ss.cc., director of St. Anthony’s Retreat Center and her wonderful staff.

By Aileen Kupihea, National Coordinator