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SUOR-CRISTINA

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I work for an organization that sprang out of the Catholic women religious tradition of social justice, and last week was National Catholic Sisters week. The more I learn about the Sisters the more I admire them, even though I’m not Catholic. Or perhaps BECAUSE I’m not Catholic (and didn’t go to Catholic school), so my frame of reference for nuns doesn’t include being hit on the hand with a ruler or told I’m going to hell. Rather, the Sisters devote their lives to ending suffering, which is accompanied by a willingness to go to extraordinary lengths to see justice served. My degree in nonprofit management is probably as close as I can get to a vow of poverty and a life devoted to service, without taking on that pesky vow of chastity ;). Anyway, there’s a new documentary out about these extraordinary women, their relationship to the Catholic Church, and their impact on American policy. No matter your beliefs, the Sisters’ story is fascinating for any feminist. I hope you’ll come see the movie with me.

Banner for Band of Sisters documentary

“Band of Sisters” tells the story of Catholic sisters in the U.S. and their work for social justice in the fifty years following Vatican II of the 1960s. From standing in solidarity with young women and men in opposition to the Vietnam war, to marching alongside protestors during the many Civil Rights demonstrations of modern times, Catholic Sisters have always been among those leading the fight for social change and working to improve the lives of the marginalized and oppressed in our society.

Demonstration against segregation at Illinois Club for Catholic Women, Loyola University, 1963 (credit Marquette University archives)_0

Demonstration against segregation

This new documentary film has been screening across the U.S. to great acclaim and is making its D.C. premiere at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center on Friday, April 11 at 7:00 PM. Director Mary Fishman will join Sister Marge Clark, BVM (NETWORK lobbyist) and Sister Mary Pat Garvin, RSM (Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Leadership Team) for Q&A and DVD signing after the screening.

Order tickets in advance: www.AFI.com/Silver

For more about the film, and screenings in your city: www.bandofsistersmovie.com