Catholic Colleges and Universities Featured in Global Sisters Report

ICYMI: An article on Global Sisters Report, titled “Sisters who blazed trails in higher education preserve heritage, charisms of Catholic universities” highlights the influence of women religious on women’s higher education in America. Catholic sisters opened colleges and universities for young women at a time when only men had access to higher education.

Their legacy is felt in the practices inspired by their charism at their founded schools. Sisters are finding ways to incorporate their charism into the character of the institution, by appointing mission officers dedicated to the charism, making the priorities of the religious community an integral part of the institutional structure, and involving students in visiting retired sisters or praying with the religious community. Additionally, many sisters are focused on working on justice issues, a vital part of many religious communities’ work and charism.

Currently, there are 104 colleges and universities founded by women religious in the United States. To learn more on the status of women religious-founded colleges and universities, read the full article on Global Sisters Report.

University of St. Thomas Professor Presents to Vatican

At the annual International Study Seminar on “Women and Work” earlier this month organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, a law professor at the University of St. Thomas had the honor of presenting her work.

Elizabeth Schiltz, law professor, Thomas J. Abood Research Scholar, and Co-Director of the Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy, presented her essay “Motherhood: Benefit or Burden to Business?” to an audience of 100 experts on “issues such as gender stereotypes and reality, penalization of motherhood, and pay inequity, among others.”

In her essay, Shiltz makes an adept argument for having more mothers in the workforce. She notes:

  1. Businesses want women workers, and most women workers want to be mothers.
  2. Businesses benefit long term from the care-giving work of mothers, and should thus shoulder some of its cost.
  3. Accommodating motherhood is not, in fact, as much of a burden on businesses as is commonly though.
  4. Mothers offer some unique and valuable skills to the workplace.

For all of these reasons, Schiltz posits that creating a world order where women and mothers can more easily access and enjoy the workforce would be beneficial to all. Lucky for University of St. Thomas, Schiltz has made this an area of focus at the Murphy Institute!

How does your campus advocate for working mothers? Let us know! 

Courageous Voices: Sharing the Perspectives of Young Catholic Women

At a time when Catholic youth are falling away from the faith, students at Saint Mary’s College (IN) had the bold notion to share the perspectives of young Catholic women directly with Pope Francis. With their “Voices of Young Catholic Women” project, they invited women born between 1981 and 1995 to write about their love of the Catholic faith, their concerns and hardships, and even their suggestions for how the Church might better engage women like them. Sixteen institutions participated in the project, resulting in 225 heartfelt letters, artwork, and a handmade stole, all hand-delivered to the Pope in Rome by St. Mary’s president Carol Ann Mooney, Bishop Kevin Rhoades, and two St. Mary’s students.  The project will be shared this week at the Madeleva Lecture Series, which has highlighted the work of women in theology for 30 years.  The event will feature a panel discussion of the project, sociological information on women millenials and the Church, and reflections on moving forward.

Over the next few weeks, we will release short stories about the courageous voices of our member colleges and universities.  Stay tuned to hear about how students, faculty, and staff are responding to Pope Francis’s call to social justice and a culture of encounter.  If you are still curious about how Catholic colleges and universities are promoting social justice on campus, read the original blog post on the Courageous Voices series, or check out ACCU’s inventory of promising practices, which includes many examples of our members engaging with Catholic Social Teaching.

“Be the Voice of Catholic Women: Catholic Women United in Truth”

catholic womenSeptember 24 – 27, 2014

Grand Rapids, MI

 All Catholic Women are invited and encouraged to attend the National Council of Catholic Women 2014 Annual Convention, September 24 -27 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.  The registration form for the 2014 annual convention is now posted on the NCCW website, Hotel reservations and more information are also available on the website.

The program will address the focus themes of the NCCW Commissions. These are New Evangelization for Leadership Commission, Religious Liberty for Spirituality Commission and The Effects of the Media on Marriage and the Family for Service Commission. Teresa Tomeo, Dr. Ralph Martin and Sheri Wohlfert will be the keynote speakers.