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Here are some examples of the impact Catholic sisters have had on our nation:
- Catholic sisters established the nationʼs largest private school system, educating millions of young Americans.
- More than 110 U.S. colleges and universities were founded by Catholic sisters.
- In 2005, approximately one in six hospital patients in the U.S. were treated in a Catholic facility founded by Catholic sisters.
- During the Civil War, the Sisters of the Holy Cross staffed the first U.S. Navy hospital ship, the USS Red Rover.
- Sister Pulcheria Wuellner (Wheaton Franciscan Sisters) developed the St. Joseph infant incubator for premature babies.
- More than 600 sisters from 21 different religious communities nursed both Union and Confederate soldiers alike during the Civil War.
- Mother Alfred Moes built St. Maryʼs Hospital and convinced Dr. W. W. Mayo to staff it. That “partnership” was part of the beginnings of Mayo Clinic.
- In the founding days of Alcoholics Anonymous, Sister Ignatia Gavin of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine successfully advocated that alcoholism should be treated as a medical condition.
- Sister Mary de Sales Leheney (Sisters of Charity, Cincinnati) received the first medical license given to a woman in New Mexico.
- Since 1995, numerous congregations have participated as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) at the United Nations, focusing on global issues such as climate change, human trafficking, and poverty
- Today, thousands of Catholic sisters work for social justice and human rights here and overseas.
Content on this page is from the Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America
“WOMEN & SPIRIT: Catholic Sisters in America” is a traveling exhibit sponsored by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in association with Cincinnati Museum Center. It reveals the mystery behind a small group of innovative American women who helped shape the nation’s social and cultural landscape.
Meet women who corresponded with President Thomas Jefferson, talked down bandits and roughnecks, lugged pianos into the wilderness, and provided the nation’s first health insurance to Midwestern loggers. Discover sisters’ courage during the Civil War, the Gold Rush, the San Francisco Earthquake, the Influenza Epidemic, the Civil Rights Movement, and Hurricane Katrina.
In Sacramento until June 3, 2012: More infor here: https://www.facebook.com/Women.and.Spirit.Sacramento.Exhibit