National Catholic Sisters Week
March 8-14, 2018

National Catholic Sisters Week is an annual celebration of Catholic sisters that takes place from March 8-14. It began in 2014 as part of National Women's History Month to broaden awareness of Catholic sisters and their contributions to the world. Its aim is "to inspire others to engage in self-reflection, service, and simple acts of kindness."

We hope that you will be inspired by how these HM Sisters live their mission of bringing more abundant life to God's people.

Sr. Mary Stanco

Sr. Mary Stanco serves as director of Humility of Mary Volunteer Service, an HM ministry that places young adults in short-term and year-long service opportunities in northeastern Ohio and southern Florida. She has been the program director since 2013 and enjoys working with the young adults who desire to be of service to others.

“It’s a rewarding experience to be able to coach, advise, and see the potential in people and help them tap into it.” says Sr. Mary. “Being able to provide HM Volunteers with the experience of learning more about the people they serve and how best to be ready to help them is largely what HM Volunteers is about: bringing more abundant life to others with the hope that they [the Volunteers] will continue to bring more abundant life as they continue living more intentionally—their lives always ready to serve others.” #NCSW #sistersofhm #villamariapa

HM Volunteers & Sisters

Sr. Madeline Muller

Sr. Madeline Muller ministers at Collinwood Neighborhood Catholic Ministries (CNCM), a collaborative ministry of five religious congregations on Cleveland’s east side. CNCM strives to meet the needs of those in its neighborhood by offering a variety of programs and services like an ID voucher program, counseling, grief support, pregnancy support, and nutrition assistance. Arts programs such as painting, cooking, quilting, knitting, and crocheting are also offered

“The best thing about being here is meeting the people,” Sr. Madeline says. “I find that my ministry here in Collinwood fulfills our HM Mission of giving more abundant life to God’s people, especially the poor. We help people gain a sense of self-worth by being a presence in the neighborhood.” #NCSW #sistersofhm #villamariapa

Sr. Madeline & collinwood group
Collinwood Neighborhood Catholic Ministries
Sr. Madeline at Collinwood Neighborhood Garden

Prayer Shawls Etc.

Prayer Shawls Etc. is a group of HM Sisters who are retired from active ministry that meets weekly to crochet prayer shawls, blankets, and other items to donate to various organizations. The sisters began the ministry in the fall of 2015 as a way to build their own sense of community with each other as well as offer the warmth and comfort of prayer to those who need it. 

“After we are all present, we ask for prayer intentions because we pray as we make them,” says Sr. Cheryl Samblanet. “The idea is that the prayers then wrap around the person who receives the item.”

The sisters have donated finished items to The Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley in Youngstown, Ohio, various shelters, and Villa Maria Community Center’s annual Christmas clothing drive among others. Their current projects will be sent to Hospice of the Valley in Youngstown when they are completed. #NCSW #sistersofhm #villamariapa

Sister Margaret Mary & Sr. Susan
Sister Mary Elizabeth crochets
Sr. Cheryl & Sr. Rosemary
Sr. Joanne

Sr. Cheryl Rose

Sr. Cheryl Rose serves as a spiritual director, helping others to deepen their relationship with themselves and with God. She was an educator at the secondary level for 26 years prior to her ministry in spiritual direction.

“I believe it was Gerard Manley Hopkins who wrote about finding the mission for one’s life, with the phrase ‘for this I came,’” says Sr. Cheryl. “Over and over I have known that sharing the spiritual path, supporting people’s inner work, shedding light on the soul’s journey with God is my ‘for this I came,’ the work that inspires and delights me.” #NCSW #sistersofhm #villamariapa

Sr. Cheryl Rose and Sr. Mary Slattery

Sr. Kathy Limber

Sr. Kathy Limber serves as an educator at the McDowell County Emergency Ambulance Authority in McDowell County, W.Va. and at the McDowell County Volunteer Fire Department, where she instructs students learning about Emergency Medical Services (EMS). She began ministering in rural West Virginia in 1994.

“I have come to believe the reason why one may come to an area to minister is never the reason why you stay. It is the connectedness with the people and their way of life. The mission of the HM Community calls us to be active ministers of the Gospel,” says Sr. Kathy. “It is my hope that over these last 24 years here in southern West Virginia, my life has reflected the Gospel message of faith in God, hope in life, and charity to others.” #NCSW #sistersofhm #villamariapa

Sr. Kathy & kids
Sister Kathy & students

Sr. Margaret Mary Siegfried

Sr. Margaret Mary Siegfried was a pharmacist at St. Joseph Riverside in Warren and St. Elizabeth Youngstown from the early 1950s until her retirement in 1994, but she loved the hospital so much that she still hasn’t left. You can still find her one morning a week at Mercy Health-St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital visiting with families in the surgical waiting room.

“Jesus said, ‘I was sick and you visited me,’ and that inspires me to continue in this ministry,” says Sr. Margaret Mary. “I usually go to people who are alone first and see if they want to talk or not [in the waiting room]. I’ll continue to visit with people as long as God gives me the health to keep going.” #NCSW #sistersofhm #villamariapa

Sister Margaret Mary

Sr. Carol Joy Cincerelli

Sr. Carol Joy Cincerelli teaches at St. Hilary School in Fairlawn, Ohio. Her enrichment art class provides comprehensive exposure to the arts with lessons focusing on the works of writers, artists, composers, saints and others. By the time the children are in fourth grade, they are familiar with the life and works of Renoir, Van Gogh, Mozart, Grandma Moses, Michelangelo and many others.

“Each lesson is based on higher level thinking skills, and my program uses all the arts in learning. Through the people we study, we discuss times that are difficult in life as well as recognizing our own gifts in healing and helping those with whom we share our journeys and our world,” says Sr. Carol Joy. “Respect for others, kindness, and leadership extend from learning how others have traveled with us.” #NCSW #sistersofhm #villamariapa

Sister Carol Joy & Student

Sr. Audrey Abbata

Sr. Audrey Abbata ministers as a chaplain at Mercy Health—St. Joseph Warren Hospital, where she provides spiritual care to patients and their families. This includes visiting with them to offer emotional support, facilitating the reception of the sacraments when appropriate, helping them understand information given to them by doctors or nurses, and providing comfort during crisis or sorrowful situations.

“What I do is try to meet people where they are and help them try to find their peace and where God is in their story,” says Sr. Audrey. “You learn a lot when you do this type of ministry and you have to be open to surprise conversations because a person in need will open up if they sense an invitation to share. It’s such a sacred thing when people share with me the details of their journeys.” #NCSW #sistersofhm #villamariapa

Sister Audrey & patient
Sister Audrey & patient