The History of AIM USA
AIM USA was founded as a secretariat of AIM International on May 18, 1973 under the sponsorship of the Benedictine Congregation of Perpetual Adoration in St. Louis, MO. In 1988 the AIM offices were moved to Petersham, MA and then in 1990 the national board asked to move the office to Erie, PA and requested that Sister Joan Chittister become executive director.
Sister Joan agreed, with the stipulation that the name be changed to Alliance for International Monasticism in place of Aid for International Monasticism. She articulated a vision for AIM USA that would bring the monasteries of the United States together with those of Africa, Asia, Central and South America in a meaningful alliance.
A national advisory board of 11 members composed of Benedictine and Cistercian men and women sets policy for AIM USA. The board meets annually and the members receive an update from the national office every two months. Each board member may serve 2 consecutive 3-year terms. The policy set by the board is carried out by the executive director and staff. The executive director is appointed by the national board and then hires staff as needed.
Sister Stephanie Schmidt, OSB is executive director and oversees all aspects of the organization, including editing the newsletter. Sister Therese Glass,OSB, is responsible for the Propagation of the Faith mission appeals and coordinates the book distribution to mission monasteries. Sheila McLaughlin, oblate, is responsible for all data entry and oversees the finances.