June 2009

Women & Spirit Traveling Exhibit Opens in Cincinnati

CHI is a supporter of the museum exhibit Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America, which opened May 16 at the Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati, OH. The exhibit depicts the innovative, action-oriented and altruistic women religious whose passion for justice helped shape the nation's social and cultural landscape.

After first arriving in America nearly 300 years ago, sisters have built hospitals, schools, colleges, orphanages, homeless shelters and other enduring social institutions. As nurses, teachers and social workers, sisters entered the professional ranks decades earlier than most other women. Their untold stories are now documented in the exhibit.

The exhibit features artifacts from more than 400 sister communities, including a letter from Thomas Jefferson assuring religious freedom after the Louisiana Purchase and a medical bag used by sisters as they nursed victims from both the North and the South during the Civil War. Media components include modern and archival video, oral history listening stations and photographs

Kevin Lofton, president and CEO of CHI; Peggy Martin, OP, JCL, SVP of sponsorship and governance; and Colleen Scanlon, RN, JD, SVP for advocacy, represented CHI at the opening of the exhibit. "The exhibit is truly compelling and moving," said Scanlon. "It shows how much these women contributed to building this nation. We are privileged to carry their work in health care into a new era."

The exhibit will remain in Cincinnati through August 30, then will travel to museums around the country through 2012, including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum in New York City. Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America is sponsored by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in association with the Cincinnati Museum Center.