After nearly five years working as an assistant to Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski in the office of the eastern vicar, Sister Constance “Connie” Gilder, S.S.J., is taking on a new role as Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien’s delegate to religious.
The archbishop announced the appointment during a June 10 meeting of Catholic Center employees in downtown Baltimore. Sister Connie succeeds Sister Rosalie Murphy, S.N.D., who will now serve as a consultant to the delegate’s office.
As delegate, Sister Connie will be the liaison between religious communities and the archdiocese.
“I think we have a lot of opportunities to develop collaborative relationships between the archbishop and the religious communities to work on the archbishop’s priorities,” said Sister Connie, a native of Fernandina Beach, Florida.
“My sense is that the archbishop is very welcoming of the idea of collaboration so that many gifts can be shared,” she said.
One of Archbishop O’Brien’s top priorities is strengthening the city – an area where religious can be especially helpful, Sister Connie said.
“On issues like violence, immigration and human trafficking, the religious communities are already making efforts among themselves,” she said, “but it would be mutually enriching if we joined forces.”
Sister Connie entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1962 and first came to the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 1988 to work in the office of collegial services where she was responsible for staffing collegial bodies of the archdiocese.
The office later became the office of planning and counseling services, where Sister Connie worked throughout the archdiocese helping parishes identify priorities and develop plans to meet those priorities.
Sister Connie spent a year doing development work for the Bon Secours Spiritual Center in Marriottsville and also was instrumental in developing a women’s residential program at St. Luke Institute in Silver Spring.
“I’ve always found the church to be vital in the city,” said Sister Connie, noting that even when she was working outside the archdiocese she maintained her residence here. “It’s what brought me to Baltimore and it’s what’s kept me here.”