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Benedictine Sisters to honor National Catholic Sisters Week

Benedictine Sisters to honor National Catholic Sisters Week - (05-03-2014)

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Photo: Members of the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration celebrating National Catholic Sisters Week include (from left) Sister Marie Jona Yoo, OSB, Sister Jane Heschmeyer, OSB, Novice Rosa Cruz and Sister Maria Victoria Cutaia, OSB.

The inaugural National Catholic Sisters Week is scheduled nationwide March 8-14, 2014, to honor the contributions and works of Catholic Sisters, such as the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Clyde, who have supported millions in the United States and around the world in a variety of ways, regardless of race, religion or socioeconomic status. 

These charitable works by Catholic Sisters include education, health and human services, hunger and disaster relief, contemplative prayer and the production of religious goods and services. Organizers hope to showcase the tremendous impact Catholic Sisters have made throughout the generations and to highlight the ways in which they care for the world today and into the future, as well as inspire girls and women to hear, explore and perhaps even to respond to a call to religious life.

The event is possible due to a three-year grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minn., who is launching the week’s activities as part of Women’s History Month.

The Benedictine Sisters in Clyde will spend Saturday, March 8, in conference with Abbot Gregory Polan, OSB of Conception Abbey, where they will focus on the “mystery of the Paschal Mystery,” Clyde Prioress Sister Rita Clair Dohn, OSB said. They will also observe a day of renewal where they will immerse themselves in Scripture to revitalize their “good zeal and inner journey.”

“The week is also an opportunity for our Sisters to be more mindful of extending our appreciation of each other and to members of other communities in our diocese, to thank each other for answering God’s call to religious life,” Sister Rita Clair said. 

Benedictine Sisters’ charitable works include contemplative prayer and the production of altar breads and other religious goods. Historically, the Benedictine Sisters spearheaded efforts to raise millions of dollars for Europe to help religious and lay people affected by World War I and World War II. These donations were instrumental in rebuilding monasteries and seminaries that were destroyed, feeding the homeless and helping take care of those orphaned by war. This work became known as CARITAS.

The Benedictine Sisters were founded by a group of Swiss Catholic Sisters in 1874. Today, they have 75 sisters and two women in formation at their monasteries in Clyde, Mo., Tucson, Ariz., and Dayton, Wyo.

There are over 700,000 women religious ministering across the globe, serving and living in some of the most vulnerable communities on the planet. Currently, more than 1,000 women in the United States are in formation to become Catholic Sisters. For more information on National Catholic Sisters’ Week, please visit the Facebook page.