The Saint Louis Public Library, in conjunction with the Communicators for St. Louis Sisters, will host a special exhibit, Catholic Sisters: The Spirit of St. Louis, in conjunction with National Catholic Sisters Week, which runs from March 8 to 14.
The exhibit, which celebrates 200 years of Catholic Sisters’ presence in the St. Louis area, is on display Saturday, March 3, through Saturday, April 28 at Central Library, 1301 Olive Street. The free exhibit is open to the public Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Central Library downtown. Photos, artifacts, books and memorabilia will be on display.
“This exhibit offers a wonderful opportunity for the people of metropolitan St. Louis to celebrate with the Catholic Sisters 200 years of presence, as well as to recall memories and the influence Sisters have had on their lives,” says Sister Judy Bell of the Franciscan Sisters of Mary. “For those not familiar with Catholic Sisters, the exhibit provides an educational forum that shows the impact women religious have had in the greater St. Louis area, meeting the needs of many people throughout these 200 years.”
Catholic Sisters first arrived in the St. Louis area some 200 years ago. Over the past two centuries Sisters have devoted their lives to God through a host of ministries. Some 56 congregations of women religious are currently present in the St. Louis area. This exhibit represents the 15 communities that are a part of the St. Louis Catholic Sisters group.
A Spirit of Healing
Some have brought healing and care to the sick regardless of their ability to pay. Sisters have built many of our area hospitals and care centers and have been responsible for amazing advances in technology and healthcare. Serving as administrators, doctors, nurses, educators, laboratory technologists, researchers, dietitians, physical therapists, etc., Sisters have combined expertise with presence and compassion to take healthcare to new levels.
A Spirit of Teaching
Some Sisters came to St. Louis to teach, opening schools and universities, providing a quality education for girls as well as boys, for immigrants and those who could not afford an education as well as for those who could. They often staffed public schools in rural areas, teaching religion before or after regular classes. Committed to learning, they have often spent summers and Saturdays working on advanced degrees.
A Spirit of Serving
Sisters have sponsored soup kitchens, food pantries, orphanages, daycare centers, safe shelter for those in danger, wise counsel for those needing guidance. Some are lawyers and advocates. And even now, though you may not find them in the traditional places or in their traditional garb, they continue to live out their call to be the hand and feet, heart and face of Jesus in our world, in whatever new directions the call of the Spirit takes them.
Come find out more about these women of spirit—Visit Catholic Sisters: The Spirit of St. Louis.