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Ann Marie Grady, CSJ, returned at our request for another presentation on photography.  Ann Marie is a former faculty member at Regis College and not only an excellent and knowledgeable photographer, but also a superb teacher.  Prior to the meeting, we all had the opportunity to submit questions and challenges about using our cameras and we brought our cameras for some hands-on learning.  A PowerPoint presentation accompanied her very useful handouts with references to her website and materials we will certainly use back in our workplaces.  Those unable to be present may want to go to the website with resources: to access those materials.

Ann Marie’s combination of patience and professionalism provided a positive experience for all. In trying to assist the group in using their camera to the best advantage, she challenged us “to be smarter than our camera.”

Additional information: correct_exposure_agrady    camera_agrady


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As part of a grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the Communicators for Women Religious (CWR) organized focus groups in three different areas in the United States to assist them in future planning. The meeting of New England members of CWR was held recently at the Sisters of St. Anne’s provincial house in Marlborough, MA. During a two-hour session, Carl Meirose, senior consultant the American City Bureau, listened to the responses from a questionnaire that had been distributed prior to the meeting.

In addition to the in-person focus groups, there were videoconference focus groups and an online survey distributed to the organization’s 180 members.

The above are some photos from the focus group.

Visit for more information about Communicators for Women Religious.


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On November 5, Greg Page, CEO & Co-Founder of Merrimack Analysis Group ( presented a workshop on Twitter and Facebook. NECWR members and guest learned about the wonderful potential of two of the world’s largest social networks, along with the potential risks that users face. We learned about the best and worst Tweets of all time, the risks posed by metadata contained in digital images, and found out where all those photos you upload are actually stored.

Greg resides in Lowell, MA with his wife and daughter. He received his master’s degree at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He holds an Ed.M. from Harvard and a B.A. from Stanford. University. Motivated by the attacks of Sept.11, Greg joined the US Navy as an Intelligence Officer and served 3 overseas tours supporting ground units in Iraq before transfering his commission to the Army. He is now a Captain in the US Army Reserve, and an Adjunct Computer Science Lecturer at Boston University – Metropolitan College.


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April 9, 2014 – More than 30 individuals attended Sister Lynn Levo, CSJ, Ph.D presentation, “Life in the New Digital Ecosystem: Implications for the Young and the Not So Young.” Her topic was of broad interest to the diversified audience. Unless we are very young, we are probably digital immigrants, adapting to a very new and very different world. Sister Lynn stressed that reality affects every aspect of our lives, She left us with, we ourselves, as well as those with whom we serve, need to deal with the impact of the digital world in which we live. 

Nov. 6, 2013

Christine Cox introduced Sister Senga Fulton, S.P., our speaker. Sister Senga shared information about her long-time involvement with people who are homeless and the programs at Annie’s House and described what she did to both educate the community about the program (spreading the word) and to develop sources of funding for it. Although one purpose of the meeting was for the communicators to share ideas about how she might continue to do those tasks, the group was very impressed about how skilled she is in administering the program, publicizing it, and raising the funds to make it viable. After her talk, different members did share ideas and suggestions which might prove helpful in the future. Pat. St. Amand noted these for her. The conversation was lively and we all learned much from the sharing.

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On April 10, guest speaker Neil Swidey, a feature writer for the Boston Globe Magazine, recently spoke to members of the NECWR. In an informal, conversational style, Neil shared how he develops a story. Initially he formulates several questions, makes an outline and then sets out to learn all he can about a subject. He chooses as subjects average people with whom readers can identify. Neil wants to take his readers on a journey that will make them want to read to the end of the piece. He also gave an overview of his professional experience and answered questions ranging from writing techniques and topic selection to editing.

Neil is a native of Somerset, MA. A graduate of Tufts University, he began his journalism career as an editor, which led him to his present career as a feature writer. Neil covers topics on family and education, technology, politics, science and medicine, popular culture, religion, the world, and life in general. He wrote the book “The Assist”, a story of the Charlestown High School basketball team. The book won several awards and was selected as a reading choice in several high schools. Among other writing accomplishments, Neil contributed several chapters to The Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy.

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You can read past articles on Neil’s website

April 10, 2013

pat st. amand

NECWR Chair, Mary Lou Simcoe, SUSC,  presented a Certificate of Appreciation to outgoing chair, Patricia St. Amand. Pat was a founding member of NECWR, and “for many years she has selflessly served the organization as chairperson. Pat has planned and chaired meetings, obtained speakers, and served as our liaison with the National Communications Network for Women Religious. She has fulfilled all ks with grace, tact and gentleness. Our heartfelt thanks to you, Pat!”

November 14, 2012

Outgoing chair, Patricia St. Amand, Director of Communication, Associate Co-Director, Co-Cordinator Vocations Office, for the Sisters of Providence, expressed  gratitude to  Carol Proietti, SSA, Sisters of St. Anne,  a founding member of NECWR, for her many years of service and presented her with a plaque. Graciously stepping into the position of secretary is  Mary Ellen O’Keefe, SNDDEN, Communication, Archivist, and Unit Project Manager of the Sisters of Notre Dame, CT. Those present at this meeting affirmed by acclamation  Mary Lou Simcoe, SUSC, Communication Director, Holy Union Sisters, as the new chair of NECWR. We are grateful to both for their willingness to take over these positions.

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On Wednesday, November 14, 2012, Sister Ann Marie Grady, of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston, provided an excellent presentation about how to use your camera effectively. She accompanied her presentation with both PowerPoint examples and useful print materials. She responded to questions which the group had given her prior to her arriving. Sister Ann Marie stressed the importance of the effective use of light, and discussed a variety of topics including resolution, visualization, use of flash, ISO settings, shutter speed, and the importance of knowing your camera. Three web pages that Sister Ann Marie suggested, which would be helpful, are: Seeing with a Camera, Webopedia, for use in terminology, and Retrovo, to retrieve manuals.