Friday, March 7, 2014

Catholic Sisters Week March 8-15

It turns out that Elizabeth Ficocelli and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation have a lot in common.

Ficocelli authored a series of children’s vocation-awareness books with a beautiful entry titled “Where Do Sisters Come From?” Elizabeth has shared her story behind the vocation-awareness series on Catholic radio and on a number of Catholic websites and in print. A convert, Ficocelli explains how her own interest in understanding consecrated life was the impetus behind writing the first entry “Where Do Priests Come From?” which was then followed by “Where Do Sisters Come From?.” The final entry in the series is “Where Do Deacons Come From?.”

So when it was recently announced that March 8 through March 15th is Catholic Sisters Week, Ficocelli was not surprised. Her own passion for helping young children learn about vocations was acknowledged in that announcement. Ficocelli’s life work and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation had oddly crossed paths around the consecrated life of sisters!

Catholic Sisters Week is the enterprise of St. Catherine University out of St. Paul, MN and is backed by over three million dollars from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. It is a vast undertaking and, according to Andrea Lee, IHM, president of St. Catherine University, it will essentially be “Fostering meaningful relationships between college-age women and accomplished American women religious will be a powerful inspiration for some to consider religious life.”

Rosemarie Nassif, SSND, program director of the Catholic Sisters Initiative at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation adds, “The Hilton Foundation’s vision is to create a movement that ignites a national awareness around the lives and profound contributions of Sisters, inspiring girls and women to be open to a potential call to religious life.”

For Elizabeth Ficocelli, it is an exciting time to introduce the beauty of vocations to Catholic families and classrooms. “Even if the youngsters aren’t called to a consecrated vocation, being aware of them as a special call from God increases everyone’s respect and appreciation,” Ficocelli has said in radio interviews.

It looks like the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation agrees!

(illustration is from Where Do Sisters Come From?)

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