Women religious

Editorial | Encourage, engage and pray our way to more women religious.

St. Louis is losing an important ministry. On Aug. 24, the Little Sisters of the Poor announced they are leaving St. Louis after almost 150 years of serving the poor elderly. The reason? Too few sisters.

We've heard this before. Generations ago, many Catholic schools were run by a sister. Catholic health care ministries were run by religious, not corporations.

Masses in St. Louis honor ‘Martyrs of Charity’

Missionaries of Charity attended a memorial Mass March 14 at Sts. Teresa and Bridget Church in honor of their sister murdered in Yemen. They “are the martyrs of today,” Pope Francis said. “They gave their blood for the church. Bishop Edward Rice celebrated the Mass.
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A Missionaries of Charity sister described prayers and support from St. Louis Catholics as “overwhelming.”

“Very
powerful,” Sister John Janet said after Mass on March 14 at Sts. Teresa
and Bridget Parish, the Missionaries’ home parish in St. Louis. “You
can feel the love.”

About 160 people — representing religious

National Catholic Sisters Week: Billboard campaign shines light on sisters’ faith in St. Louis

You've more than likely seen one around town. A blank billboard with one simple message in black type:

"We have faith in you, St. Louis.

— St. Louis Catholic Sisters."

Fifteen religious communities who are part of the group St. Louis Catholic Sisters have placed two dozen billboards with this message around the St. Louis area. The campaign, which coincides with National Catholic Sisters Week, March 8-14, is meant to instill pride in the community and a desire to work for its betterment, according to a press release.

Report: Sisters' numbers shrinking but growing more diverse

Benedictine nuns prayed in the chapel in late March at the Abbey of St. Walburga on a ranch in Virginia Dale, Colo. A new report on U.S. women religious said that religious life is becoming not only more multiethnic but more international as well.

WASHINGTON -- A new report on U.S. women religious said that religious life is becoming not only more multiethnic but more international as well.

The report, "Understanding U.S. Catholic Sisters Today," said that of all women who entered religious life in the past 10 years, only 57 percent were white, while 17 percent were Hispanic, 16 percent were Asian, and 8 percent were black -- including both African-American women and those born in Africa.

Women religious serve as prophetic witness in a modern culture

The Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious of the United States held a symposium on religious life in St. Louis Nov. 13 and 14. The symposium was a national event in which scholars and religious came together to discuss the beauty of religious life and a life of prophetic witness. Sister Caterina Esselen, OLM, Sister Inga Kvassayova, OLM, both from the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Boston, chatted with Daughter of St. Francis of Assisi Sister Loretta Matas, DSF.

Women religious have a prophetic dimension that communicates a significant message in the modern world, said the assistant secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Dominican Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia presented the opening keynote Nov. 13 at the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious Symposium on Religious Life. Approximately 500 women religious attended the two-day conference, held in St. Louis, marking the Year of Consecrated Life.

Vocations fair at SLU focuses on God’s call

Lisa Johnston | lisajohnston@archstl.org
At a vocations fair on the campus at St. Louis University, Eric Elizondo, left, had a heart-to-heart with Sister Catherine Thomas Brennan, a Dominican Sister of Mary Mother of the Eucharist, while Dominican Sister Maria Canisius Wiley talked with former classmate Amy Bolad.

The sign came at the precise moment in the mid-day outdoor Mass when Jesuit Father David Meconi elevated the consecrated host, the true presence of Jesus Christ.

A star shined above Father Meconi's raised arms, the sun reflecting in a starburst pattern off the top of the Clock Tower at St. Louis University — a hint of divine approval, perhaps, at SLU's first vocations fair in the millennium.

On a sunny but crisp and windy autumn day, 40 religious communities participated in the all-day event, giving students passing by one-stop shopping in the heart of campus.

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