Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America

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About LCWR

"Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America" was organized by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), an association of leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States. LCWR represents about 95 percent of the women religious in the United States.

To ensure that "Women & Spirit" fulfilled expectations of museum visitors and academics alike, LCWR had assembled an expert advisory panel of scholars, historians, and museum and design professionals. These advisors continued to be consulted on current scholarship, bibliography, and historical accuracy throughout the design development process. In addition, LCWR had assembled a committee of sister leaders to oversee and administer the exhibit.

"Women & Spirit" Advisors

Dr. Mary Madonna Ashton, CSJ
Mary Madonna Ashton served as Minnesota’s State Commissioner of Health, and founded St. Mary’s Health Clinics for low income, medically uninsured people, St. Paul-Minneapolis, Minnesota

Dr. Carol K. Coburn
Carol K. Coburn is Professor of Religious Studies and Women’s Studies at Avila University and co-author with Martha Smith of Spirited Lives: How Nuns Shaped Catholic Culture and American Life, 1836-1920.

Dr. Jerome A. Enzler
Jerome A. Enzler is Executive Director of the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque, Iowa, a Smithsonian Affiliate.

Dr. Constance FitzGerald, OCD
Constance FitzGerald is editor of The Carmelite Adventure, Journal of A Trip To America (1790) and author of Impasse and Dark Night and other studies on John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila.

Dr. Mary Denis Maher, CSA
Mary DenisMaher is author of “To Bind Up theWounds”: Catholic Sister Nurses in the U.S. Civil War, 1989,1999

Dr. Judith Metz, SC
Judith Metz co-edited with Regina Bechtle, S.C., Elizabeth Seton: Collected Writings (4 vols.), Correspondence and Journals 1793-1820 (vol. 1 and 2), and Spiritual Writings, Notebooks, and Other Documents (vol. 3a and 3b).

Dr. Diane Batts Morrow
Diane Batts Morrow is Associate Professor of History, University of Georgia and author of Persons of Color and Religious at the Same Time: The Oblate Sisters of Providence, 1828-1860.

"Women & Spirit" History Committee

Jane Burke, SSND
Jane Burke is a School Sister of Notre Dame, a member of the Atlantic-Midwest Province. She has an MSW from the University of Georgia, and an MED from Loyola College, MD. Jane served as Executive Director of the LCWR.

Barbara Cervenka, OP
Barbara Cervenka is a Dominican Sister of Adrian, Michigan. She holds an M.F.A. in painting from the University of Michigan. Barbara teaches at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan.

Mary Charlotte Chandler, RSCJ
Mary Charlotte Chandler is a Religious of the Sacred Heart. She received her Ph.D. in the Sociology of Religion from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, and holds an M.S. in Computer Science, an M.A. in Sociology and an M.Div. Mary Charlotte currently serves as Directo of the Center for the Study of Religious Life.

Mary Dacey. SSJ
Mary Dacey is a Sister of Saint Joseph of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Science in Educational Administration from Boston College. She currently serves as a member of the General Council of the Sisters of Saint Joseph.

Helen Maher Garvey, BVM
HelenMaher Garvey is a Sister of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She received her Ed.D in Organizational Development from Columbia University, New York. Presently, Helen serves as Coordinator of the LCWR History Project responsible the exhibit, "Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America."

Karen M. Kennelly, CSJ
Karen M. Kennelly is a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet. She holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.A. in History from the Catholic University of America. She served on the congregational Leadership Team of her congregation and is president emerita of Mount St. Mary’s College, Los Angeles.

Constance Phelps, SCL
Constance Phelps is a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth. She received her PhD in sociology fromWashington University in St. Louis, Missouri and a Fulbright Research Fellowship in Ghana, West Africa. Constance is a presently a consultant to religious congregations and other groups.

Annmarie Sanders, IHM
Annmarie Sanders is a Sister, Servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary whose headquarters are located in Scranton, Pennsylvania. She holds a Master of Arts degree in public communications from Fordham University. Annmarie is currently the director of communications for the Leadership Conference ofWomen Religious.

Carole Shinnick, SSND
Carole Shinnick is a School Sister of Notre Dame. She completed an MA in American studies at Fairfield University and an MSW in clinical social work at St. Louis University. Carole is currently the communication director for her community’s Atlantic-Midwest province.