Beginning March 8, our country will celebrate the first annual National Catholic Sisters Week. With a theme of "Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment," the week highlights the service that women religious have provided since the founding of the Catholic Church in America.

Statue of Mary
Elms College President Mary Reap, IHM, Ph.D.  greets class Valedictorian Victoria Puff at the MassMutual Center in Springfield for the 81st Commencement. 

Reap: Elms reminder of Sisters of St. Joseph legacy for National Catholic Sisters Week

By Sister Mary Reap

Beginning March 8, our country will celebrate the first annual National Catholic Sisters Week. With a theme of "Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment," the week highlights the service that women religious have provided since the founding of the Catholic Church in America.

In our diocese, members of various congregations have served in a variety of capacities.

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield are constant reminders of the commitment of women religious in the area of education. Early in the 20th century, they founded the College of Our Lady of the Elms as a school to train young women to become educators. The Sisters ensured that the college would be a place where women could prepare themselves for a career and prepare for a life of service to others in the Catholic intellectual tradition.

The college has expanded in many ways since then, and today the it educates men and women in graduate and undergraduate classes, both on and off campus. What has remained constant is the Sisters' charism. This legacy continues to teach belief in a world of compassion where human dignity is respected and where all people share the same basic rights and responsibilities.

 

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