First-Ever National Event Recognizing the Lives and Contributions of Catholic Sisters.
As part of National Women’s History Month, the inaugural National Catholic Sisters Week made its debut March 8-14, drawing more than 50 pairs of Catholic sisters and college students across the country to St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minn., and engaging hundreds more online, shining a national spotlight on Catholic sisters and raising awareness of their profound influence on young women.
A highlight of the week was SisterStories, a storytelling event hosted by acclaimed broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien and produced by The Moth Radio Hour, the national public radio show that won a Peabody Award in 2010.
“National Catholic Sisters Week was a sweeping success,” said Co-Executive Director Sister Mary Soher, OP. “Among the sisters there was such a claiming of sisterhood. There really is this sense that we are all sisters working in the mission of Christ. The college students who got involved were delightful. They found such peer support among other young women who also have this hunger to learn more about sisters.”
The National Catholic Sisters Week initiative is supported by a three-year, $3.3 million grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation awarded to St. Catherine University in late 2013. Led by Soher and Co-Executive Director Molly Hazelton, the initiative is housed at a robust digital hub, SisterStory.org. Its ongoing programs including an ambitious oral history project that will pair more than 100 college women across the nation with Catholic sisters to conduct in-depth one-on-one interviews to capture their vocation stories via videos, photographs and blog posts.
“We’re honored to capture the stories of sisters that have not been shared before,” Hazelton said. “They have played such a vital role in American history – and they continue to today. Catholic sisters are a source of rich inspiration to young women, including the 1,000 women who are currently in formation in hopes of making final vows as Catholic sisters.”
Everyone is invited to advance National Catholic Sisters Week through local community events and outreach, volunteer opportunities and social media. National Catholic Sisters Week will also feature community-submitted content on its Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest channels.
About National Catholic Sisters Week and SisterStory
National Catholic Sisters Week is a three-year national program supported by a $3.3 million grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and intended to heighten awareness of the lives and contributions of Catholic sisters among young women. National Catholic Sisters Week will be held every year from March 8-14 in conjunction with National Women History’s Month. For more information on how to get involved, visit www.sisterstory.org and www.stkate.edu/ncsw and find National Catholic Sisters Week on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world's disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance abuse, helping children affected by HIV and AIDS, supporting transition-age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad Hilton's support for the work of Catholic Sisters. Following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $1.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants, distributing $83 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2012. The Foundation's current assets exceed $2.2 billion.
About St. Catherine University
St. Catherine University is the nation’s largest undergraduate college for women. A comprehensive University, St. Kate’s offers baccalaureate, associate, master’s and clinical doctorate degrees in a variety of liberal arts, health care and professional programs. Committed to meeting the educational needs of women of all ages, as well as men in its associate and graduate programs, the University offers many of its degree programs in traditional, weekend and evening as well as online formats. With beautiful campuses in St. Paul and Minneapolis, St. Catherine University has a total enrollment of 5,075.
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