They have opened schools and universities. They have founded hospitals. They have educated countless children and nursed the sick. They pray with us and pray for us. They advocate for social justice, provide social services, and care for our earth. They are leaders, collaborators, nurturers, activists, and role models.

Who are they? They are Catholic Sisters.

Yet these numerous contributions to our world go mostly unnoticed. National Catholic Sisters Week (NCSW) celebrated March 8-14, hopes to change this. Supported by a grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, this annual event was created to honor women religious for all of their works, big and small. NCSW aims to instruct, enlighten and bring greater focus to the lives of these incredible women, providing an opportunity to recognize all that Catholic Sisters have done for us.

The Catholic Sisters of Western Pennsylvania, (www.sistersofwpa.org/about/) plan to celebrate the week in a variety of ways. Representing 17 congregations, the Catholic Sisters Leadership Council (CSLC), has organized various events and outreach projects to celebrate the National Catholic Sisters Week.

Since 2012, the CSLC has sponsored a food drive. On average, each year about 10 truckloads of food & over $2,000 are collected and donated to local food distribution charities. This outreach provides an opportunity for Sisters to witness the Gospel and bring attention to the needs of others in the area. This call for action invites others to join Catholic Sisters in a collaborative effort. (visit www.sistersofwpa.org for a complete list of collection sites, drop off dates and times).

New this year is the Celebration of the Arts. Sponsored by the Pittsburgh Diocese, this event celebrates religious Sisters and Brothers who share their artistic talent to inspire others and enliven the Church. This event will take place March 6 at St. Paul Seminary. The Celebration of the Arts will include a variety of live musical performances and exhibits from twenty artists.

For the sixth year, Sisters will participate in the Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day Parade. On March 12, over 50 Sisters will march or ride in the parade. Last year the Sisters earned the “Best Senior Non-Irish March Women” award by the parade committee! This fun event provides an opportunity to honor the dedicated services of Sisters and bring attention to the needs of those served by Sisters and their ministries, like Sisters Place, Inc. and PATH.

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