'Women & Spirit' exhibit set to move to Smithsonian

The “Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America” exhibit will finish up in Dallas at the Women's Museum in one week and will move on to Washington, D.C. where it will open Jan. 15 (and run until April 25) at the S. Dillon Ripley Center at the Smithsonian.

"Women & Spirit" is a traveling exhibit sponsored by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in association with Cincinnati Museum Center and it tells the stories of innovative American women who helped shape our nation’s social and cultural landscape.

For example, did you know that Benedictine nuns in Minnesota sold $2 tickets to lumberjacks for a year’s worth of care in the nuns’ health clinics?

Or that in 1804, President Thomas Jefferson saluted the Ursuline Sisters in New Orleans in a letter also promising that the federal government wouldn’t interfere with their operations or property?

Or that during the Civil War, American nuns served as nurses on both sides, sometimes risking arrest on suspicion of spying for tending to injured soldiers?

Those are a few of the stories of women religious in America related by Sister Carole Shinnick last week in Buffalo as part of the 22nd annual Retirement Fund for Religious Luncheon.

Some find it serendipitous the exhibit coincides with a study of American religious women being conducted by the Vatican. The exhibit, easily accessible in Washington in the coming months, is a "must see" for any and all wishing to learn about these remarkable women who raised us in the faith and continue to inspire us with their enduring commitments to our church and its mission, to serving the People of God wherever there is special need.

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