CMSWR History

Cardinal Augustine Mayer, O.S.B. with Sisters



In the spring of 1992, eighty major superiors of women religious from across the United States, under the guidance of Cardinal James Hickey, supported a petition to the Holy Father for the approval of a second conference or council of women religious in the United States.  On June 13th the permission was granted and the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR) was canonically erected.  

The approved Statutes provided for the nomination of an Episcopal liaison with the Holy See.  Cardinal Hickey was asked to serve in this capacity.  He proved a wise counselor, spiritual father, and friend during his nearly eight years as Episcopal liaison.  On his resignation in 1999, Cardinal Justin Rigali, currently the Archbishop Emeritus of Philadelphia assumed the liaison role. 

CMSWR continues its mission and purpose, looking for the pursuit of holiness among its members, building up the Body of Christ, while ever seeking inspiration and guidance from our Holy Father and the Church.