A look at some real Women and Spirit

By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

This weekend, we took a group of women looking at religious life to the local Women and Spirit exhibit. We – and they – had a wonderful and interesting time! Here’s what the Women & Spirit website says about the now-complete national exhibit:

“‘WOMEN & SPIRIT: Catholic Sisters in America’ was a traveling exhibit sponsored by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in association with Cincinnati Museum Center.

“It revealed the mystery behind a small group of innovative American women who helped shape the nation’s social and cultural landscape.

“It introduced women who corresponded with President Thomas Jefferson, talked down bandits and roughnecks, lugged pianos into the wilderness, and provided the nation’s first health insurance to Midwestern loggers. It showed sisters’ courage during the Civil War, the Gold Rush, the San Francisco Earthquake, the Influenza Epidemic, the Civil Rights Movement, and Hurricane Katrina.”

When this exhibit was in Dubuque, the Sisters of the Upper Mississippi River Valley created a local exhibit, which is now on display at Christ the King in Moline, Ill.

The inquirers seem to drink in all the information about what area Sisters have done and are doing.

One woman said she had always thought a community would only do one thing, say, teach. She said she was amazed at all the areas a community could get involved in while seeking God and living out the Gospel.

Well, I’m one of those Sisters who is doing what people typically think of as a Sisters’ work. I teach.

But I am doing much more than I ever could on my own. I am not only teaching, I am helping market my Catholic school so that it thrives into the future. I am helping reach out to our immigrant population. I am praying with 40 other Sisters every day.

Together, we do so much more than we can do apart.

I invite you to learn more about our Benedictine community. Send me an email at smacdonald@smmsisters.org. You might be as amazed – and excited – as our inquirers were!!! 🙂

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