The Leadership Roundtable honors Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America

July 7, 2012

WASHINGTON--The National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management presented the 2012 Leadership Roundtable Best Practices Award to Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America, honoring its outstanding commitment to excellence and visionary leadership in Catholic communications. Women & Spirit is a traveling museum exhibit that highlights the importance of Catholic sisters to the civic life and social services sector in the US.

"It is impossible to overestimate the contribution women religious have made to the Catholic Church in the United States and to the fabric of American society. Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America serves as a powerful multi-media witness to the positive and profound impact women religious have had on American history,” said Kerry Robinson, executive director of the Leadership Roundtable. “These heroic, prophetic and deeply compassionate women were pioneers in education, healthcare, social services, poverty relief, community organizing, catechesis and advocacy for the poor. Telling their story is a powerful example of how to evangelize in the modern world." 

Women and SpiritWomen & Spirit toured for three years, travelling to nine cities throughout the US. The exhibit uses innovative media components such as an introductory video projection experience, oral history listening stations, and films that showcase historical footage to bring the accomplishments of women religious to life. A partnership between the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and the Cincinnati Museum Center, the exhibit features over 70 artifacts from 400 sister communities, including a letter from Thomas Jefferson promising religious liberty in the newly purchased Louisiana territory.

“The Leadership Conference recognized that the contributions of Catholic sisters to this nation are often unknown,” said Sister Helen Garvey, BVM. “We felt it was important to provide an accurate portrayal of who Catholic sisters are and how they helped to build the nation from 1727 to today. We are grateful that so many people supported our vision to tell the stories of these unsung heroes publicly and made the exhibit possible.”

The Leadership Roundtable is an organization of laity, religious, and clergy working together to promote excellence and best practices in the management, finances, and human resource development of the Catholic Church in the U.S. through the greater incorporation of the expertise of the laity. It brings together leaders from the worlds of business, finance, academia, philanthropy, non-profit organizations, and the Church to create programs and resources to serve Catholic parishes, dioceses, nonprofits, and schools.

Each year, the Leadership Roundtable identifies exemplary institutions, organizations, and individuals who are committed to best practices and honors them with the Leadership Roundtable Best Practices Award, holding them up as an example worthy of emulation throughout the church. Past recipients include the Cristo Rey Network, Catholic Relief Services, the Diocese of Gary in Indiana, Catholics Come Home, and the Archdiocese of Boston’s Financial Transparency Project.

Robinson and Geoffrey T. Boisi, chair of the Leadership Roundtable, presented the award on June 27th at at Georgetown University, part of a two-day summit exploring collaboration in the Catholic sector. Catholic Charities USA was also honored for its commitment to best practices in management and finances, allowing it to fulfill its mission more effectively.

For more on Women & the Spirit, visit

Image: The Leadership Roundtable honored Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America with the 2012 Leadership Roundtable Best Practices Award. From left to right: Geoff Boisi, chair of the Leadership Roundtable; Sr. Annmarie Sanders and Sr. Helen Garvey representing Women & Spirit; and Kerry Robinson, executive director of the Leadership Roundtable. (Credit: Rob Lisak/Leadership Roundtable).