Nearly 50 NCSW Ambassadors commit to NCSW celebrations, collaborations

The buzz about National Catholic Sisters Week increased to a fervent pitch earlier this month when Sister Mary Soher, OP met with nearly 50 individuals in cities across the country. These individuals graciously committed their time, energy and passion to becoming NCSW Ambassadors charged with orchestrating local events during National Catholic Sisters Week this March that shine light and bring focus to the important work of Catholic sisters. The ambassador initiative is a new opportunity to increase awareness of the mission of NCSW through unique hyper-local events that celebrate the devotion of women religious who work tirelessly to make the world a better place.

“As a proud member of the NCSW Ambassador program, I feel my support will help encourage communities to highlight the work of sisters,” said Erika Cedrone, director of mission, Catholic Extension in Boston. “Working together to bring to light the amazing work that sisters do and celebrating their commitment to God is something that I am passionate about and this week in March provides us the stage to openly proclaim our love of these amazing women.”

Robust discussions occurred in five cities – Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, Houston and Los Angeles – resulting in new opportunities for collaboration among Catholic organizations and creative ideas to honor sisters. For example, the 20,000-member staff of Presence Health in Chicago has been alerted to ways they can support NCSW, while students attending Mission Grammar in Boston will be sending letters to women religious. Additionally, stories about women religious will be offered to local media.

Boston ambassador Ali Duston, principal of Mission Grammar, described the ambassador program as a natural fit for her school. “In Boston, we have a rich tradition of Catholic education and the foundation of that work was built on the dedication and service of the Catholic sisters,” she said. “At Mission Grammar, we are proud to have been founded in 1889 by the School Sisters of Notre Dame and we continue realize their vision today 126 years later!”

The ambassadors’ enthusiasm is contagious as they explore ways to celebrate women religious. We are honored to have commitments from these ambassadors as we embark on another successful National Catholic Sisters Week this March 8 to 14.


NCSW Ambassadors by market:


Ali Dutson, Mission Grammar School
Erika Cedrone, Catholic Extension
Debbie Rambo, Catholic Charities
Christopher Bilodeau, Medicines for Humanity
Sr. Marian Batho, Archdiocese of Boston
Sr. Katherine Caughey, SND, Saint Jude School
Jen Robbins, Anderson Robbins
Sr. Barbara Gutierrez, School Sister of Notre Dame, Emmanuel College


Sr. Bernadine Gutowski, Hospital Sisters of St. Francis
Sr. Diane Marie Collins, Chicago Franciscans
Sr. 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
Sr. Joan McClinchey, MSC, Archdiocese of Chicago

New Orleans

Sr. Ily Fernandez, Congregation of St. Joseph
Sr. Theresa Pitruzzello, Congregation of St. Joseph
Deacon Dennis Adams, Christopher Homes
Fr. 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
Sr. Beth Fitzpatrick, Vicar for Religious
Dr. Jan Lancaster, Superintendent of Schools
Paul Gagnet, Knights of Columbus


Fr. TJ Dolce, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
Sr. Anita Brenek, CDP, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
Claire McMullin, Newman Center at the University of Houston
Larry Massey, Scanlan Foundation
Matt Johns, Catholic Charities
Sr. Heloise Cruzat, OP, Vicar for Religious

Los Angeles

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
Sr. Cecilia Canales, Vicar Women Religious
Sr. 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

About Molly Hazelton

Molly Hazelton is the site director of National Catholic Sisters Week, headquartered at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. She credits her love, respect and admiration for Catholic sisters to her grandmother, Isabel, who was educated in nursing by the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph at Fanny Allen Hospital in Colchester, Vt. Molly is also a trained librarian, so please feel free to ask her for book recommendations.