While the nearly 50 NCSW Ambassadors are located across the country, they are all connected by a shared mission to coordinate events that celebrate women religious in their own communities.
Larry Massey, governor of Serra Club District 10 in Houston, “had never heard of NCSW until Sister Mary [Soher] came to Houston.” Since his introduction to the program, Massey’s efforts to promote vocation in the Houston and Galveston area, the mission of the Serra Club, have increased.
“Learning about NCSW has intensified our efforts to shine a light on women religious and their life’s work,” said Massey.
Massey has helped coordinate a number of events to celebrate women religious in the community, including a Nun’s Luncheon, and has invited Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist to the Serra Club’s board meeting to discuss their mission and experience as sisters.
“NCSW is changing the world for the better by increasing awareness, promoting discernment and increasing the number of Catholic sisters,” he said. “The world needs more sisters.”
Rosie Chinea Shawver of Los Angeles is the director of campus ministry for the University of Southern California Caruso Catholic Center. When she’s not busy hosting undergraduate retreats and helping college students in the campus ministry office, Shawver has dedicated time to brainstorming creative ways to celebrate the unique women religious in her community.
With the help of Sister Cecilia Canales, the vicar of women religious at the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the two have planned a viewing of Women & Spirit, a documentary about the contributions of women religious, both past and present.
In New Orleans, a group of sisters are collaborating with several institutions to connect directly with youth and young adults to share their work and providing insights to religious life. Planned events include:
- Sisters converge on Abbey Youth Fest in Covington, LA. The Sisters from Magnificat House will be at a booth at the Abbey Youth Festival the morning of March 12 visiting with youth, youth leaders and other attendees interested in learning more about the vocation of women religious.
- “Cookie with a Sister” at Loyola University and Xavier University of New Orleans. Students are invited to enjoy a cookie with a sister with one caveat – in order to take a cookie, students must ask a question about the Catholic faith or being a Catholic sister. Students will be invited to take a NCSW prayer card and button and take a Selfie with a Sister.
- A Discerning Faith – NCSW Webinar. Presented by Sister Mentors and Discerners of the Magnificat House of Discernment, through Loyola University Institute for Ministry, will discuss discernment in the spiritual life and how this gift is lived out in the Magnificat community. Mentors and discerners will share practical tips and personal examples.
“NCSW supports me,” said Sister Theresa Pitruzzello, CSJ. “It’s a win-win. NCSW supports what I and many other sisters and associates are striving to do in our ministries and it greatly helps in spreading the word that Religious Life is a viable, joyful, and fulfilling option for women in our world today.”
While spread across the country, the NCSW ambassadors are all closely connected in their dedication to supporting and showcasing the important work of women religious. We are grateful for the continued efforts and dedication of our ambassadors!
NCSW Ambassadors by market:
Ali Dutson, Mission Grammar School
Erika Cedrone, Catholic Extension
Debbie Rambo, Catholic Charities
Christopher Bilodeau, Medicines for Humanity
Sister Marian Batho, Archdiocese of Boston
Sister Katherine Caughey, SND, Saint Jude School
Jen Robbins, Anderson Robbins
Sister Barbara Gutierrez, School Sister of Notre Dame, Emmanuel College
Sister Bernadine Gutowski, Hospital Sisters of St. Francis
Sister Diane Marie Collins, Chicago Franciscans
Sister Sharon Kerrigan, Presence Health
Linda Beverly, WFH
Angela D’Antonio, Catholic Extension
Dougal Hewett, Presence Health
Darren Henson, Presence Health
Lisa Lagger, Presence Health
Robert Scarola, Presence Health
Venus Brady, Presence Health
Briana Cox, Presence Health
Sister Joan McClinchey, MSC, Archdiocese of Chicago
Sister Ily Fernandez, Congregation of St. Joseph
Sister Theresa Pitruzzello, Congregation of St. Joseph
Deacon Dennis Adams, Christopher Homes
Father Dave Caron, OP, Office of Evangelization
Deacon Jeff Tully, Archdiocese of New Orleans
David Doyle, Office of Evangelization
Chelsea Colomb, Catholic Youth Organization/Youth & Young Adult Ministry
Sister Beth Fitzpatrick, Vicar for Religious
Dr. Jan Lancaster, Superintendent of Schools
Paul Gagnet, Knights of Columbus
Father TJ Dolce, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
Sister Anita Brenek, CDP, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
Claire McMullin, Newman Center at the University of Houston
Larry Massey, Scanlan Foundation
Matt Johns, Catholic Charities
Sister Heloise Cruzat, OP, Vicar for Religious
Karina Plascencia, Director, Religious Education, Archdiocese of Los Angeles
Sister Terry Maher, CPPS, Dignity Health
Nancy Jurecki, OP, Providence Health
Janice England, Lay Mission-Helpers
Sister Cecilia Canales, Vicar Women Religious
Sister Carol Brong, Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet
Cambria Tortorelli, Holy Family
Rosie Shawver, Catholic Center
Isaac Cuevas, Knights of Columbus
Kevin Baxter, Superintendent of Schools
Photo caption: Sister Mary Frances Coleman, RSM, laughs with her cohorts at the Diocese of San Bernardino as Sister Mary Frances prepares for National Catholic Sisters Week, March 8-14.