North Hills. Oakland. South Hills. East Pittsburgh. West Hills. Beaver County. Greensburg. Catholic Sisters have been present in these areas, and throughout western Pennsylvania, for over a century. Beginning February 12, each of these locations will also be home to billboards featuring the Sisters that invite us all to “Pray. Act. Be the Change.” The Sisters of St. Joseph are proud participants of this National Catholic Sisters Week project.
Showing glimpses of Catholic Sisters living their missions of peace, mercy and compassion, the billboards run through March 11 during National Catholic Sisters week. Stories behind the images can be found at sistersofwpa.org, where resources are available for persons inspired to action through prayer, service and support of efforts that align with the change they hope to see in the world. The Sisters will also engage in a collaborative social media campaign using the hashtags #PrayActChange and #NCSW.
“Pray. Act. Be the Change” is a collaborative project of the Catholic Sisters Leadership Council (CSLC), and made possible through funding from a $1,000 National Catholic Sisters Week mini-grant and donated space from Lamar Advertising. The project’s intent is to inspire others through increasing the visibility of Catholic Sisters as they continue to serve as leaders, collaborators and advocates for peace, justice and care for creation. Congregation-sponsored and collaborative ministries highlighted in the campaign include Elizabeth Seton Center, Sisters Place, Pittsburgh Mercy, and McGuire Memorial.
“We want to connect with folks out there who may not realize the vital and evolving roles Catholic Sisters play in our communities each day,” says Sister Janet Gardner, a Sister of St. Francis of the Providence of God and co-chair of CSLC. “We welcome people of all ages to partner with us in making positive change in the world.”
In conjunction with Women’s History Month, National Catholic Sisters Week takes place from March 8 to 14. As part of the initiative, mini-grants are given to projects and events that serve to instruct, enlighten and bring greater focus to the lives of Catholic Sisters. Sponsors include the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. More information is available at nationalcatholicsistersweek.org.
The Catholic Sisters Leadership Council (CSLC) represents more than 17 congregations of Catholic Sisters serving western Pennsylvania in various roles supporting children, families, the poor, elderly, the sick, displaced persons and others in need. The CSLC’s purpose is to advance the missions of religious communities and promote understanding of women religious, both within their individual congregations and throughout the broader community. Collaborative efforts include the establishment of Sisters Place, a supportive housing ministry for single parent families, as well as the documentary We Are All Immigrants which addresses comprehensive immigration reform. The collaborative group has also taken public stances on peace and justice issues. Members of the CSLC include:
Benedictine Sisters of Pittsburgh (OSB)
Felician Sisters of North America (CSSF)
Ladies of Bethany
The Little Sisters of the Poor
School Sisters of St. Francis (OSF) (Bellevue)
Sisters of Charity of Nazareth (SCN)
Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill (SCSH)
Sisters of Divine Providence (CDP)
Sisters of the Divine Redeemer
Sisters of Mercy Community of New York Pennsylvania West (RSM)
Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden (CSJ)
Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities (OSF)
Sisters of St. Francis of the Providence of God (OSF)
Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth (CSFN)
Sisters of the Holy Spirit (SHS)
Sisters of the Humility of Mary (HM)
Sisters of the Order of St. Basil the Great (OSBM)
More information and links to each congregation’s website is available at sistersofwpa.org.