What is National Catholic Sisters Week?
NCSW is an annual celebration that takes place from March 8-14. Created to honor women religious, it is a series of events that instruct, enlighten and bring greater focus to the lives of these incredible women. It’s our chance to recognize all they have done for us. It’s also our hope that as more young women learn about women religious, more will choose to follow their example.
National Catholic Sisters Week, a branch of National Catholic Sisters Project headquartered at Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisc., is headquartered at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minn., and is held in conjunction with Women’s History Month.
Who are Women Religious?
They serve God through a diversity of ministries. Some live cloistered lives in contemplative prayer, while others work on the frontlines of global change, striving to improve various aspects of society, from environmental change to healthcare reform to human rights issues. All find ways to make the world a better place. They may have had a positive impact in your life through their work in your community, even if you didn’t know they were women religious. We invite you to learn more and get to know the sisters near you!
It began in 2014 as part of National Women’s History Month. The inaugural celebration was held March 8–14, with the highlight being the NCSW Sister/Student conference which drew more than 50 pairs of Catholic sisters and college students from across the country to St. Catherine University and engaged hundreds more online. The week shined a national spotlight on Catholic sisters and raised awareness of their profound influence on young women.
“National Catholic Sisters Week was a sweeping success,” says former Co-executive Director Sister Mary Soher, OP. “Among the sisters there was such a claiming of sisterhood. There really is this sense that we are all sisters working in the mission of Christ. The college students who got involved were delightful. They found such peer support among other young women who also have this hunger to learn more about sisters.”
Since its launch in 2014, National Catholic Sisters Week has experienced remarkable grassroots growth. Each year the number of NCSW-related events has doubled. On-line events, a new addition to NSCW, allow for even broader participation nationwide.
In 2016 a mini-grant program launched to fund special NCSW events across the country. It financed a wide variety of gatherings- large and small- hosted by religious communities, colleges and universities and others.
We want you to be part of this living history.
National Catholic Sisters Week continues to grow. Every year there’s more excitement and even more events. You can join the celebration in many ways: attending events, planning your own event, or sharing your story at SisterStory.
If you’d like to learn more or would like to write a story about NCSW, email us at: