By Berta Mexidor
Religious women across America put their own twist on celebrating International Women’s Day when they celebrated National Catholic Sisters Week (NCSW), March 8-14. According to the website dedicated to the event, “NCSW is an annual celebration to honor women religious. It is a series of events that instruct, enlighten and bring greater focus to the lives of these incredible women. It’s our chance to recognize all they have done for us. It’s also our hope that as more young women learn about women religious, more will choose to follow their example.
“National Catholic Sisters Week, a branch of National Catholic Sisters Project headquartered at Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisc., is headquartered at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minn., and is held in conjunction with Women’s History Month.”
The website, http://nationalcatholicsistersweek.org/, includes testimonies to promote religious vocations and a range of activities celebrated by sisters around the country.
Certainly the history of the Catholic Diocese of Jackson is full of stories of the service and dedication of women religious. In the earliest days, they ran orphanages and schools. In the modern era, they founded and ran hospitals, worked as nurses, teachers, parish administrators and cloistered prayer warriors.
Mississippi Catholic thanks and honors the more than 100 religious serving throughout the Diocese in schools, hospitals, convents, community centers and prison ministry. Some, including Sister Thea Bowman, whose cause for canonization opened last year, are more famous than others, but they all give their lives in service to the Church and her people. They represent more than a dozen congregations including:
• The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Agnes, – CSA;
• Missionaries Guadalupanas of the Holy Spirit, MGSpS;
• School Sisters of Notre Dame, SSND;
• Sisters of Humility of Mary, CHM;
• Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, RSM;
• Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, DC;
• Sisters of Charity of Halifax, SC;
• Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, OSF;
• Order of Discalced Carmelite Nuns, OCD;
• Dominican Sisters of Springfield, OP;
• Congregation of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, FSPA;
• School Sisters of St. Francis, Milwaukee, WI – OSF
• Sisters of St. Francis, Aston, OSF
• Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, SCN
• Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, Minnesota
• Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes
• Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Family
• Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, SNJM;
• Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate, S.H.Sp;
• Union of the Sisters of the Presentation of the BVM, PBVM;
• Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, St. Louis Province – CSJ.
• Sisters of St. Joseph, CSJ
By Berta Mexidor