Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America to be shown on Erie WICU (NBC)-TV

“Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America,” a one-hour documentary relating the vital role women religious have played and the impact they have had in shaping the nation’s social, cultural and spiritual landscapes, will air in Erie at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 20th on WICU (NBC)-TV.

The program is part of the NBC “Horizons of the Spirit” series as a presentation of the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission.

Narrated by noted NPR and ABC news analyst Cokie Roberts, this documentary provides an inside look at the mystery that has shrouded Catholic women religious since they first stepped onto what is now American soil, in New Orleans in 1727, to serve those most in need. View the trailer to see for yourself.

“Women & Spirit” examines Catholic sisters’ leadership and entrepreneurial spirit, including at times when women experienced few rights and also during many dramatic moments in U.S. history. Millions of Catholics and non-Catholics alike have passed through the doors of their schools, colleges, hospitals, social service centers and other ministries. Yet, their story virtually has been untold publicly via mass media.
The documentary is an outgrowth of the highly successful touring exhibit (2009 - 2012) of the same title, sponsored by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the film’s executive producer. LCWR is the association for some 1,500 leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the U.S., representing more than 80 percent of the 57,000 Catholic sisters in the nation.

“This remarkable and inspirational story – nearly 300 years of American history – should no longer be known only to a small portion of our nation. I urge viewers to set up those DVRs if you need to, but don’t miss scheduled broadcast of this inspirational, informative program,” said Sister Janet Mock, a Sister of St. Joseph of Baden, Pennsylvania and LCWR’s executive director.
The documentary utilizes rare archival photographs, video, film and even new history unearthed through research, and it features interviews with a wide, cross-section of historians, journalists and Catholic sisters.

The film introduces viewers to women religious who corresponded with President Thomas Jefferson, served as nurses on Civil War battlefields, created health insurance for Midwestern loggers, helped found Alcoholic Anonymous, marched with civil rights leaders and who are on the front lines today, serving people through a wide variety of ministries and addressing moral, social and human rights issues, nationally and globally.

“Women religious have made an incalculable contribution to this nation. Running schools, hospitals and orphanages from America’s earliest days, these women helped foster a culture of social service that has permeated our society,” said narrator Cokie Roberts.