Continuing a Legacy of Service
Catholic sisters have long been at the forefront of identifying and serving unmet community needs. Recognizing the role of Catholic sisters in the social fabric and their unique way of being, ministering and leading, SOCF supports Catholic sisters and their ministries. Since its inception, the foundation has supported direct service work of sisters, increased awareness of their example of servant leadership, promoted collaboration among congregations of women religious, built capacity of sister-founded/led ministries and fostered relationships between sisters and lay partners.
Most recently, the foundation has focused on how to share and continue the mission, impact, and voice of women religious as many sisters retire from their formal work and leadership in organizations and there are fewer sisters present in the community. The foundation has shared the challenges and opportunities that this time holds through research, programming and communications while continuing to support sisters at work in ministry today through grantmaking.
Projects of note have included:
- Founding support for the Women Religious Archives Collaborative (WRAC), which was established in 2022 to build a heritage center to preserve the archival collections of congregations of Catholic sisters, make them available for study, and share them with the public.
- The Generative Spirit Initiative (2015-2022), which built relationships between Catholic sisters and lay partners to to grow the capacity of Catholic sisters and their ministries to develop the next generation of lay leaders, building bridges to continue ministry as modeled by Catholic sisters. Listen to the Generative Spirits podcast for stories and conversation inspired by this initiative.
- The Collaboration for Ministry Initiative (CMI), which was an initiative that assisted Catholic sisters with educational and networking opportunities, technical assistance, and funding for collaborative strategies to strengthen and sustain ministry. CMI supported intercongregational collaborations in Northeast Ohio and the CMI conference hosted by the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina.
To support Catholic sisters and their ministries in Northeast Ohio to meet the needs of God’s most vulnerable people.
- Build capacity of intercongregational collaborations to address the needs of sisters, congregations and their ministries.
- Support ministries of Catholic sisters who provide direct services to, spiritual support to, advocate for, or educate the community about those most in need.
Experience and Insights
- Continue to nurture collaboration among congregations.
- Elevate innovative stories of Catholic sisters.
- Leverage the capacity of the laity, particularly young adults.
- Respond to the changing needs of sisters today.