Sister Mary Pellegrino coming to St. Paul

Sister Mary Pellegrino, CSJ (right), meets Pope Francis.

A visionary Catholic leader is coming to St. Paul, thanks to a partner diocese of the National Catholic Sisters Project.


Sister Mary Pellegrino, CSJ, served as president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and inspired its members, who have described her as a strategic thinker, an active learner and a source of energy. She has encouraged the ongoing renewal of religious life in the face of unprecedented challenges and changes in the Church.


Under Sister Mary’s leadership, LCWR made great strides, creating the Association of Latin American Missionary Sisters and advocating for immigration reform. It also advanced its work on health-care legislation, climate change and peace building while fighting human trafficking.


Sister Mary will keynote a special gathering of women religious from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis on Sunday, Aug. 25. The event is titled “Voices of a Generation: Reflecting on Religious Life in a Changing World.” 


In order to jumpstart conversation and turn the gathering into a turbo-charged book club, attendees are reading the same book, “In Our Own Words: Religious Life in a Changing World,” a collection of 13 essays by a variety of women religious.


They’ll meet from 2-4 pm in the Rauenhorst Ballroom of the Couer de Catherine Ballroom at St. Catherine University in St. Paul. The event is open to guests of local women religious and will end with hearty appetizers. 

The event is sponsored by the archdiocese, an NCSP partner diocese, and its point person, Sister Carolyn Puccio, CSJ, the archdiocese’s Delegate for Consecrated Life. 

“We’re thrilled to have Sister Mary,” SIster Carolyn said. 


She hopes the event will recharge attendees, who represent a wide spectrum of religious life.


“We’ve worked very, very hard to create a climate of acceptance and support, not just tolerating one another but celebrating and embracing the differences that we bring to this life,” Sister Carolyn said. “It’s been a goal of mine to build bridges. We need to model it for the church and for society, that differences are to be celebrated and embraced, not feared or tolerated.”


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.