|Collage of Google search: IWD 2022|
What about Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton? Saint Seton was born into a wealthy Episcopalian family in New York City on August 28, 1774. Her father, Dr. Richard Bayley, was a doctor and one of the first health officials in New York City. Her mother, Catherine Charlton Bayley, died when Elizabeth was only three years old. Saint Seton was the first American to be canonized as a saint. She was raised Episcopalian, but later converted to Catholicism. Through the struggles and tragedies she faced in life, she remained devout. She is the founder of the first Catholic schools in the United States and is the patron saint of Catholic schools, widows, and seafarers.
Or what about the Jesuit and Franciscan Sisters who in In 1888 started work on what would become the Red Cloud Indian School at the request of, and on a site designated by, Chief Red Cloud. Using primarily their own labor and that of local Indians, they began construction of the main mission building. All of the bricks for the building were made on the mission ground from local clay and lime. Not only did Red Cloud meet spiritual needs, it also provided an education to Indians through its school. The following decades brought many challenges to the new school, namely poverty and disease. But it also brought growth and hope: Students came to the school from as far away as Wyoming and New Mexico, and the land began to produce enough food to feed the growing number of students and staff. A Catholic-Indian conference was held each year, drawing a large number of clergy and religious as well as Native American laypeople. Records from the Franciscan Sisters note that Masses held at the beginning of each conference featured singing in both Latin and Lakota—a telling sign of the cooperation and partnership between the Lakota and the Jesuits.
Certainly Mother Katharine Drexel would qualify. Katharine Drexel, heiress to a multi-million dollar estate, entered the convent and decided to give her life to the service of her Native and African-American brethren. while on a trip with her family out West, Katharine witnessed firsthand the terrible condition of the Native people. She also took note of the hardships endured by African-Americans, who struggled to find work, education, and fair treatment. She and her sisters dove wholeheartedly into supporting the missions that served these populations. In 1891, she took her first religious vows, and with some other sisters founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People. In addition to the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, Katharine took a fourth one: “To be the mother and servant of the Indian and Negro races.” During her life, Mother Katharine founded dozens of missions and schools for black and Native Americans in sixteen states. Among them is Xavier University in New Orleans, the only historically-black Catholic college in the country.
Not to mention Sister Margaret Hillary, OP who has served the community on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana as pastoral counselor and youth minister in the community. Along with fellow Dominican Sister Edith Schnell, Sister Margaret Hillary they serve families at St. Ignatius Mission Parish and helped the community navigate through the pandemic. With a grant from Sisters on the Frontlines, they paid for internet service for a family of nine with several children who suffer from chronic health issues. The Sisters on the Frontlines was launched during the pandemic with the exceptional goal of providing 1,000 Catholic sisters with $1,000 each. Each sister used the funds to help an individual or family suffering extremely adverse affects due to the pandemic. The Sisters on the Frontline are prophetic witnesses and voices of hope. They are close to those who are in need and they are trusted by people of all walks of life. Sisters on the Frontlines was formed by an alliance including Catholic Extension, Congregation of St. Joseph, Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters, FADICA, GHR Foundation, Raskob Foundation for Catholic Activities, Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, and the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
In a LinkedIn post, Cindy Gallop suggests that women on International Women's Day and every other day should not use words like empower or celebrate, instead use words like hire, promote, pay, bonus, fund, invest and so on. Certainly the women featured herein have a different view: More like how can I help, what do you need?