FAN Celebrates National Catholic Sisters Week


FAN would like to recognize the wonderful work of all Catholic sisters. We are especially grateful for Sr. Marie Lucey (left) and Sr. Maria Orlandini (right), both Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia who are on our staff.

From March 8th-14th, we celebrate the fourth annual National Catholic Sisters Week here in Washington D.C. and across the country. The week is a means of recognizing and honoring the far-ranging contributions that women religious have made to their communities. We are so thankful for their spiritual and physical presence.

National Catholic Sisters Week (NCSW) was celebrated for the first time in 2014 and continues to exist as part of National Women’s History Month. NCSW is headquartered at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN. Worldwide, there are nearly 800,000 Catholic sisters serving God through a diversity of ministries, with almost 50,000 based in this country. Many serve on the front lines with the most vulnerable; others choose to deepen their spirituality through lives of contemplative, prayerful enclosure. Regardless of how these sisters choose to live out their vocation, they are undoubtedly cornerstones of their communities, both spiritual and secular.

Patrick Carolan, Executive Director of the Franciscan Action Network, has only praise for the sisters in his life and work. “In my current position at the Franciscan Action Network (FAN), I have the opportunity to work with hundreds upon hundreds of amazing sisters. I am still learning and being mentored by them. These sisters are very clearly following in the footsteps of Jesus. I am humbled and in awe of their dedication and their example of living the Gospel every single day of their lives.”

This year’s celebration boasts a record number of events across the country, from panels to pilgrimages. One such spotlight event is a video documentary of an exhibit entitled “(un)veiled: deconstructing the Habit. Featuring interviews with Briana Turnbull, Molly Hazelton, Sister Beth Lynn, OSC, and Gina Giambruno; the film provides an in depth look at one of the events developed for last year’s National Catholic Sisters Week. Along with habits from other communities, the film describes habits and details from several Franciscan communities, including the Srs. of St. Francis, Rochester, the Poor Clares and the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. The film’s online premiere on is scheduled for March 14th, 2017 on SisterStory.

These are the sorts of critical global issues that Catholic sisters feel compelled to tackle head on, always with compassion and humility. In our own Franciscan Action Network community, we are blessed by our two sisters on staff, who inspire us daily with their commitment to social justice and to their vocation. Sister Marie Lucey and Sister Maria Orlandini, both Franciscan Sisters of Philadelphia, work tirelessly in the fight for human dignity through advocating for issues such as human trafficking and immigration reform, their hearts boldly open to the plight of refugees and the undocumented. In addition, we are fortunate enough to have a number of wonderful sisters on our board, including Board President Margaret Magee of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, New York and Sr. Maryann Mueller, CSSF of the Felician Sisters of North America and Sr. Marge Wissman of the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, IN. We would be lacking so much without their vision, ideals, and hard work, and so we take this week as a special opportunity to acknowledge all they have done and continue to do in the spirit of their calling, along with all of their fellow Catholic sisters!

Thank you, sisters!


Published in: on March 9, 2017 at 4:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

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