by Dan Stockman
Reprinted from Global Sisters Report
National Catholic Sisters Week, the annual celebration of women religious, kicks off its fifth year March 8, International Women’s Day.
This year’s iteration includes about 80 events funded by mini-grants to the hosting organizations and includes activities such as bowling with sisters, stand-up comedy/storytelling, and making chocolates.
“This year, we were really looking to cultivate a variety of events,” said Molly Hazelton, the program’s site director. “It’s a nice way to engage young people.”
National Catholic Sisters Week, based at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, is part of National Catholic Sisters Project and funded by a grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, which also funds Global Sisters Report.
Hazelton said the week’s events are aimed at getting laypeople, especially young women who might consider a vocation, to engage with sisters. Because women religious are not as visible and tend to be older, many Catholics have never interacted with them, she said.
“Even for me growing up, when we’d see sisters in school, they were my grandmother’s age,” she said. “This is a chance to get to know them.”
Among the events this year is Standup Sisters: Green Habits, a storytelling event March 8 in Pittsburgh. The focus of this year’s event, now in its third year, will be on sisters’ environmental work: Sisters from five communities will tell stories about raising bees and eating donated roadkill.
Jennifer Szweda Jordan, an environmental journalist and the producer of Standup Sisters, said more than 50 people have already RSVP’d for the free event.
“Word is getting out,” Jordan said. “It’s great to see them up on stage, being recognized for the great work they do.”