Sisters of Providence to take part in National Catholic Sisters Week
Thanks to a grant through the Hilton Foundation, the first National Catholic Sisters Week (NCSW) will take place March 8-14, and the Sisters of Providence will take part in the event.
The week will begin with a three-day program, set for March 7-9, at St. Catherine University, St. Paul, Minn., bringing sisters together with college women. During the program, sisters and the college women invited will conduct oral histories, discuss religious life, the use of social media when promoting vocations and more. Prayer and Liturgy will also take place.
NCSW will help kick off Women’s History Month.
Sister Editha Ben, vocation director for the Sisters of Providence, will attend the workshop along with Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) student Josephine Nieto.
Sister Editha said SMWC campus minister Andrea Baker recommended Nieto to attend.
“I’m excited about the inaugural event,” Sister Editha said. “This will spark captivating vocation conversations and the video productions will be invaluable tools in raising awareness of who the women religious are. This initiative is specially geared toward young women. It is a concerted effort and partnership between and among the religious and the younger generations.”
Nieto added she was excited about the conference.
“I love hearing the stories the Sisters of Providence share with me when I share a dinner with them, so I think it’s going to be a learning experience and I am always up to learn something new,” Nieto said.
NCSW will help the college women and women religious:
• Talk about religious life and the manifold contributions of women religious,
• Discuss effective uses of social media to increase conversation among young women about religious life, and
• Establish a strong network of college age women, women religious and others who see value in these kind of sustained conversations.
After the conference has concluded, the students will create a video project of less than five minutes describing what touched them most about their time with a woman religious.
The videos will then be uploaded onto the Internet to begin the networking between the students and women religious.
“This is special,” Sister Editha said. “It is a significant project for vocations culture.”
“I personally think that the best stories are oral stories and with that, you can sense the emotion and gain a self-awareness of how they felt when an event occurred,” Nieto added.
In December 2013, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation awarded $38.3 million in grants to 33 organizations, of which $10.4 million was granted to Catholic Sisters. The purpose of the grant, according to the foundation, was to “advance human development more widely and effectively.
Of the $10.4 million, $2.55 million was committed to the National Religious Vocation Conference to create “a fund for the future of religious life,” to help address student debt and other barriers for young people interested in entering religious life.
The remaining grant money was committed to Catholic Relief Services, the Catholic Volunteer Network, the National Religious Retirement Office and the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate.
Grant funds will support housing, food and local travel costs for those attending the conference.
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by Hilton Hotels founder Conrad Hilton.
For more information on the Sisters of Providence and National Catholic Sisters Week, log on to http://celebratesisters.sistersofprovidence.org.
About the Sisters of Providence
The Sisters of Providence, a congregation of 214 women religious, with 300 Providence Associates, collaborate with others to create a more just and hope-filled world through prayer, education, service and advocacy. The Sisters of Providence have their motherhouse at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, located just northwest of downtown Terre Haute, Ind., which is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in 1840. Today, Sisters of Providence minister in 13 states, the District of Columbia and Asia, through works of love, mercy and justice. More information about the Sisters of Providence and their ministries can be found at SistersofProvidence.org.