Deadline extended for mini-grant applications

The deadline for applying for a 2018 National Catholic Sisters Week mini-grant has been extended to Nov. 15. The National Catholic Sisters Week team adjusted the deadline from the original Nov. 1 date in order to accommodate multiple requests from applicants.

“We’ve heard from a number of people working diligently on their applications, and we’re happy to extend the deadline in order to allow for more planning. It’s exciting to hear about the creative preparations underway!”

Some are being chronicled on SisterStory, the storytelling hub for the National Catholic Sisters Project. Sister Amy Hereford, CSJ, for instance, applied for a mini-grant to support an NCSW event that will address racism from a nun’s perspective. After pouring over the application, she took the time to circulate it for feedback from fellow CSJs.

Meanwhile, the folks at Dominican University of California are planning a sequel for NCSW 2018, applying for a mini-grant to enhance the learning behind alternative spring break trips. Students are paired with Dominican sisters to be pair partners, meeting before and after their trip to reflect together.

In Chicago, Sister Belinda Monahan is completing a mini-grant application to support a NCSW 2018 event dedicated to immigrant. A fellow Benedictine Sister of Chicago is preparing to open a house for unaccompanied women ages 18 to 22 – those who have just aged out of the child status but still have considerable needs.

“I always encourage people to apply for mini-grants,” Sister Belinda said. “They’ve been a great resource for us in terms of [fostering] new events and ongoing relationships. I just had someone call me who is still knitting objects and wants to bring them in so we can give them homes where they’re needed, [a continuation of last year’s mini-grant funded event in Chicago].”

The National Catholic Sisters Week team is preparing to award more than $85,000 in mini grants to fund cross-country events celebrating women religious. The gatherings will be hosted in March 2018 as part of National Catholic Sisters Week, an official component of National Women’s History Month.

Site Director Molly Hazelton and the NCSW Team will award mini grants in increments of up to $1,000 each. Applications are available online and will be accepted until Nov. 15.

This marks the third year NCSW has awarded mini grants to animate local celebrations, each year growing in scale and scope.

“There are truly inspired ideas from people who feel deeply compelled to honor Catholic sisters,” Hazelton said.  

Hazelton stressed that the mini grants will support a wide range of events, from large to small. Some may be hosted by women religious; others in their honor. Past NCSW events have ranged from parades to pilgrimages, including service projects, retreats, creative films, book clubs, lectures and tours. One mini-grant funded a Quinceañera After-Party intended to foster spiritual growth among San Antonio teens. Another grant went toward the creation of a Little Free Library honoring Sisters of St. Joseph in Orange County, Calif. Yet another grant sponsored work in a Missouri eco-village in order to install a bat-house and a bee-house.  

The NCSW team is interested in supporting events that focus on the lives of women religious today: their lives of prayer and spirituality; the charism of their religious communities and how that is expressed on a daily basis; their varied ministries; and their pursuit of social justice.

National Catholic Sisters Week is intended to honor the nation’s 47,170 Catholic sisters and all who have gone before – founders of schools and hospitals, artists and activists, first responders and spiritual guides for all walks of life. “Catholic sisters don’t seek the spotlight,” Hazelton said. “But we know that raising awareness of their ministries can inspire the masses, and that’s what we’re aiming to do. In a time when there isn’t much good news, we need more than ever to hear stories of how they help and heal a fractured country.”

NCSW events also support young women who are considering religious life – whether they provide initial exposure or deepen relationships, with gatherings that range from a monastery tour to a Nun Run, including retreats and “Come and See” weekends. About 100 women enter religious life every year at an average age of 32, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.

The National Catholic Sisters Week team is based at the Minneapolis campus of St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. To learn more about NCSW, visit Follow NCSW on our social-media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest) and use #NCSW2018 to engage.

National Catholic Sisters Week is a program of the National Catholic Sisters Project, headquartered at Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wis.



Editor's note

Don't miss Molly Hazelton's article offering tips and tricks on applying for a NCSW mini-grant! 

About Christina Capecchi

Christina Capecchi is an award-winning journalist from Inver Grove Heights, Minn. She is the author of the nationally syndicated column “Twenty Something,” which appears in more than 50 Catholic newspapers across the country. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, America, The Chicago Tribune, The Star Tribune and The Pioneer Press. She also provides contracted editing and writing services. She holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a bachelor’s from Mount Mercy University.