On his six-day swing through three East Coast cities this week, Pope Francis will be warmly welcomed by diplomats, members of Congress and princes of the church. The young and the marginalized so close to his heart and mind — homeless men and women, prisoners, students — are also prominent on his itinerary.
But because the pope's stay will be short, he may not have the opportunity to spend significant time with many of the religious women whose grit and compassion power many local ministries and institutions in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York.
Pope Francis, let us introduce Srs. Jeanne Clark, Mary Bourdon, Eileen White, Diane Guerin, and Carol Vale. Though this group is by no means representative of the many ministries that thrive on sister power, the women do represent unseen and unnumbered others active in working with vulnerable women, for social change and creation care, and in Catholic educational institutions.
It is probably too late to get them a calendar slot for this trip, but there is always next time.